The line between art and science is blurred in the work of foot and ankle surgeon Nicholas Giovinco, DPM, of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson. Dr. Giovinco’s 3D-printed templates created using CT scans of foot and ankle deformities are featured in “Design for Social Impact,” an exhibition at the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) May 25-Aug. 3.
Based on the idea that design is a way of looking at the world with an eye for changing it, the MODA exhibition offers a look at how designers, engineers, students, professors, architects and social entrepreneurs use design to solve the problems of the 21st century. The featured projects were selected for their in-depth understanding of the users, which led to affordable, adaptable and sustainable solutions.
Dr. Giovinco’s work, created in collaboration with the hacker space Freeside Atlanta, uses CT scans to create life-size 3D-printed templates of complex foot and ankle deformities to help surgeons prepare for surgery. The 3D templates have led to better patient outcomes and care, and less surgeon stress. Dr. Giovinco is working with other surgeons to implement 3D printing in a variety of medical fields.
With the use of open source hardware, open source software and other free tools available today, this process can be made readily available to medical facilities throughout the world, said Dr. Giovinco. His 3D design work is available on www.thingiverse.com/DrGlassDPM and his medical illustrations can be seen at www.youtube.com/user/DrGlassDPM
Dr. Giovinco also is engaged in creating a novel “medical makerspace,” a venue where people in the medical and biotech community can collaborate on technologies ranging from wearable sensors to printed body parts that one day could become commonplace.
As a surgeon, Dr. Giovinco specializes in disorders of the foot, ankle and lower extremities, providing the full array of surgical and clinical care. He also has a special interest in the use of biotechnology to prevent diabetic wounds.
He is an assistant professor in the Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery of the UA Department of Surgery and director of education for the Southern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance (SALSA), a collaborative clinical and research alliance at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson dedicated to advancing care of the diabetic foot and preventing amputations in North America and worldwide. SALSA’s Diabetic Foot Blog is dedicated to caring for people with diabetes, reducing amputations worldwide and sharing information on the nexus of technology and health care.
He also serves as a clinical adviser for the Interdisciplinary Consortium of Advanced Motion Performance (iCAMP), an interdisciplinary research and development collaboration headed by Bijan Najafi, PhD, MSc, UA associate professor of surgery, associate member of the University of Arizona Cancer Center and member of the University of Arizona Center on Aging. Together, Drs. Giovinco and Najafi collaborate on a variety of clinical and technological research.
For more information about the exhibit at MODA, located at 1315 Peachtree St., Atlanta, Ga., please visit www.museumofdesign.org or call 404-979-6455.