July 2019
Volume 60, Issue 9
Free
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2019
Utilizing three-dimensional printing for the production of a scleral depressor: a technical assessment and primer for clinical integration
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Paul Mallory
    Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Neurosciences, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
  • Mehdi Najafi
    Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Neurosciences, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
  • Dara D Koozekanani
    Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Neurosciences, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Paul Mallory, None; Mehdi Najafi, None; Dara Koozekanani, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science July 2019, Vol.60, 6594. doi:
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    • Get Citation

      Paul Mallory, Mehdi Najafi, Dara D Koozekanani; Utilizing three-dimensional printing for the production of a scleral depressor: a technical assessment and primer for clinical integration. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):6594.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose : Three-dimensional (3D) printing has proven to be a safe and effective technique for producing functional instruments in medicine, but has not been widely utilized in the field of ophthalmology. To date, 3D-printing of scleral depressors specifically has not been described. The goal of this study was to produce a cost effective 3D-printed scleral depressor that is non-inferior in function to a traditional scleral depressor.

Methods : Using Autocad Fusion 360 software, a 3D-printed scleral depressor was designed to the precise dimensions of a standard scleral depressor. The prototype was printed using a Monoprice Mini Select V2 3D-printer and the printing material used was biodegradable polylactic acid filament. The estimated force (pounds of force, lbf) required for scleral depression was measured using manual depression on a force scale and compared to the maximum applicable force of the 3D-printed depressor. The total cost of production was directly compared to standard scleral depressors available from commercial sellers.

Results : The 3D-printed depressor was equivalent in dimensional and structural detail when compared to a standard scleral depressor. The force required for scleral depression (0.71 ± 0.06 lbf) was well within the maximal administrable force of the 3D-printed depressor (6.021 ± 0.06 lbf). The production cost of a 3D-printed scleral depressor ($0.05) was significantly less than the lowest-cost commercially available scleral depressor ($14.00), a 99.64% reduction in price.

Conclusions : Using the widely available technique of 3D printing, we were able to produce a 3D-printed scleral depressor that rivals the functionality of a standard scleral depressor at a significantly reduced cost. Flexible design software and variable building materials available in 3D-printing allow instruments to be altered based on provider preference or training level. This degree of customization, combined with the reduced cost of production, make 3D-printed scleral depressors an appealing alternative to traditional scleral depressors in any ophthalmic practice. Further investigation is warranted into the clinical integration of this prototype.

This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.

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