In an unusual application of rapid prototype manufacturing techniques, biomedical engineering researchers at Piedmont Hospital in the USA are printing rubber simulations of patients’ hearts, including their valves.
An intermediate rubber heart is used to simulate different therapeutic approaches and to plan heart valve replacement surgery.
The simulator combined with a trans-catheter aortic valve replacement procedure (TAVR) allows cardiologists to insert a pre-validated replacement valve using a catheter instead of open-heart surgery, yielding a less painful treatment with faster recovery.
Image: The 3D printed human heart valve. By Rob Felt / Georgia Tech
This story is taken from the 14 July 2017 edition of The Warren Centre’s Prototype newsletter. Sign up for the Prototype here.