3D printed heart valve model

- Jul 13, 2017-

Previously researchers around the world has applied the 3d printing technology to printing organ models with physiological qualities , which saves many patients’ life.  It is reported that recently researchers from Georgia Tech has printed heart valve models using highly detailed imaging from CT scans.  It’s mainly focused on helping treat Aortic Stenosis (AS). 



Aortic stenosis is a condition in which the valves in the left side of the heart narrow, restricting blood flow and potentially leading to heart failure. One of the treatments called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), during which doctors use a catheter to deliver a prosthetic heart valve to replace the patient’s impaired valve is particularly useful because of its minimal invasion and low risk.  The procedure is a great option for patients who are at high risk for complications with a standard open-heart valve replacement surgery.   


However, one of the most important factors for a positive outcome is matching up the patient’s natural heart valve with a prosthetic of the right type and size.  The issue is, everybody is different,” said Chuck Zhang, a professor in the Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering. “A male will be different than a female. It’s a big challenge for the doctors to select the right type of that prosthesis for a specific patient.”

So their research saves time for doctors in matching the right heart valve.So far, the researchers have printed almost two-dozen heart valve models based on actual patient imaging.