3D printed models are currently being utilised in cardiovascular applications for:
Visualization of anatomy
Doctor-patient communication tools
Training models to practice surgical techniques
Heart models for surgical planning and patient communication
Anatomical models of a patient’s heart depicting the blood pool volume are currently being used by the Phoenix Children’s Hospital to help surgeons visualize cardiovascular pathology of their patients, and plan the relevant surgical procedures. The models also facilitate communication between surgeons and patients' families, as they can be a tool to explain both the underlying pathology, and the surgical interventions planned.
Article courtesy of Phoenix Children's Hospital, Cardiac 3D Print lab and Cronkite News
3D printed models of blood vessels used to develop training kits for stent deployment
The Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation and Education at Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas has teamed up with 3D Systems to develop vasculature models for training stent deployment techniques for treating abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). The 3D printed models were developed from CT scans of patients which were then cast in latex to simulate arterial behaviour. The models could be connected to a pump which allowed the simulation of blood flow during the training.
Article and images courtesy of 3D Systems