Meet Marie, the very first life-sized 3D-printed human body made from bioplastic, developed by LSU engineering student Meagan Moore to test real-time radiation exposure and figure out optimal radiation therapy dosing for treating conditions like cancer.
According to an LSU press release, Marie is five-foot-one-inch tall and weighs 15 pounds. She also has a detachable head, and a 36-gallon water storage capacity for up to eight hours.
Also, Marie is also a lovely shade of purple. (“Purple was on sale,” Moore said in a press release.)
Marie is the amalgamation of five full-body scans of women taken at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, per an LSU press release. Then, over the course of 136 hours, LSU’s BigRep industrial 3D printer churned out Marie. But the 3D printer had to produce Marie in four chunks, so Moore used “a combination of soldering, friction stir welding, and sandblasting” to piece her together.
To be clear, Marie isn’t a product of bioprinting, or the process of applying 3D printing technology to create biological tissue. Scientists have used this process to transplant artificial organs into rats, and for years, the US Army has been actively looking into making bioprinted hearts, blood vessels, and even skin.
In the future, according to Moore, Marie could potentially to create personalized treatments for people with complex forms of cancer. “Children and breast cancer patients have really differing morphology that is usually very difficult to treat,” Moore said in a press release. “I find that the more we learn about any body, the more complex it’s going to be. We’re still getting medicine wrong on a lot of levels. We have a lot to learn.”
For the record, Motherboard was not able to confirm whether Marie was named after famed radiation scientist Marie Curie, but the scenario seems likely.