Could 3-D printing resolve blood leakage in patients who have heart valve replacements?
Researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology and the Piedmont Heart Institute are using new 3-D printing technologies to create heart valve models that are identical to the real valves. Their aim is to improve the success rate of heart valve replacements by helping doctors pick the right size and fit prosthetic.
Using a patient’s CT scan for reference, the models are formed with a special metamaterial design and then made by a multi-material 3-D printer, which gives the researchers control over diameter, curving wavelength, and other aspects of the metamaterial used for printing, to more closely mimic existing conditions of the patient’s greatly reduces the chances of paravalvular leakage after the operation: occurs when the new valve doesn’t achieve a precise fit and blood flows around the prosthetic rather than through it as intended.
This study was recently published in JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging. Watch the breakthrough tech at work here: