Young eScientist Award 2016 for research into 3D printing body parts

DTL partner the Netherlands eScience Center has awarded the Young eScientist Award 2016 to Maureen van Eijnatten (25) from VU University Medical Center. The prize aims to stimulate a young scientist demonstrating excellence in eScience: the development or application of digital technology to address scientific challenges.

Money prize and support
Van Eijnatten will receive EUR 10.000 to stimulate her research, as well as half a year of support by an eScience Engineer (these are experts in the application of digital technology in research). The prize will be used to undertake a joint research project.


Maureen van Eijnatten (VU University Medical Center) receives the Young eScientist Award 2016 from professor Rob van Nieuwpoort (Netherlands eScience Center). Photographer: Elodie Burrillon

3D printing of human spare parts
Van Eijnatten’s research focuses on challenges faced in medical 3D printing of human body parts. Critical steps in medical 3D printing are image acquisition and image processing, even more than the printing process itself. Translating ‘human data’ into ‘virtual data’ is error-prone and subsequently results in voids in the 3D surface model of the patient. This can lead to misfitting 3D printed implants and life-threatening complications during and after surgery.

More accuracy, less complications
Van Eijnatten hypothesizes that the application of deep learning algorithms leads to more accurate implants. The result of this research could open new avenues for individualised treatments all over the world and will allow surgeries to be performed more accurately, shorten the intervention period, minimize complications and reduce costs.

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