Rapid Prototyping Techniques For A Healthy Heart

 

Rapid prototyping techniques have introduced a whole spectrum of new possibilities to medical and health personal to care with better and higher standards for Heart problems. New and enhanced 3d printing hardware enable doctors to create what was unimaginable in the past, in really short periods of time and for competitive prices.

In this post, we intend to cover some of these areas, where rapid prototyping helps save lives and improves our life quality.

 

Rapid Prototyping Heart “Copies”

Using the latest rapid prototyping techniques combined with a patient’s MR and CT images, you can rapidly prototype a 3d copy of one’s heart complete structure and vessels, with its intricacies and details.

Real and Exact Simulations of a Heart Surgery

Till now, it was possible to exactly determine a patient’s valve implantation site with well-known methods like echocardiography, MR and CT scanning, but at the end it was presented on a 2D media. The ability to rapidly produce exact prototypes of a patient’s individual heart, enables cardiologists and surgeons to hold the specific heart in their hands, visualizing the whole process. This near reality simulation, gives surgeons a free hand to try the implantation of a device as many times as they fit and make the best decision, even before the actual operation has started.

It’s More Human, More Economic and Safer

Engineering methodologies that create both physical (rapid prototyping) and virtual (finite element) models are instrumental to design optimal devices and progress the field of heart valve implantations. Economically, we’ll benefit from a great reduction in manufactured prototypes and on the other hand, animal experiments will decrease significantly, giving way to ever rising demands for a better and more humane treatment of animals. Doctors will be able to learn the techniques and processes much faster and an increasingly less number of devices will fail. The ultimate and happy result: More and more safety for patients, effectively enabling a larger number of them to avoid multiple open-heart surgeries. The ultimate goal of this development is to create a process where traditional scanning techniques can rapidly be converted into real 3D printed objects.

Not Only for Simulations

Recent advances suggest that 3D printing and rapid prototyping techniques are nearing a margin, where “creating” real life hearts, and other life organs for that matter, will be common place in the new future. Till now, 3D printing biological materials had been a challenge due to their soft nature. When printed alone, soft materials tend to collapse under their own weight. The solution: 3D printing soft materials inside supporting structures that can be removed at the end of the process. This very concept has already been proved.

Using a combination of chemicals, a skin like form was created that held the soft printed material together as it formed. The supporting skin can be melted away, after the printing has concluded. It only needs to be heated to body temperature (37°C, or 99°F), so the soft biological material inside won’t be harmed.

 

It is more than just Experimenting

Using this technique, muscle fibers, miniature brain structures, collagens, and branching artery patterns have been made. Using MRI scans, the most impressive achievement in the field of 3D printing human organs has been the creation of human hearts. This method of bio-printing has been given the acronym of FRESH – Freeform Reversible Embedding of Suspended Hydorgels.

 

About 3D Bio Printer:

3D bio printers are nothing new and have been on the market for about 1 year now. Most of these printers cost over $100,000 and require a specialist team to operate.

You can also contact 3E-Rapid Prototyping for a free quote. We can guarantee you a competitive price and better quality.

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