Wash. groups partner on 3D printing for heart disease

2019 08 22 23 37 6549 3 D Printed Heart 20190822232011

Researchers in Washington are collaborating on the use of 3D printing to facilitate the diagnosis and treatment of heart abnormalities.

The two-year partnership between researchers from the University of Washington School of Medicine and the Veterans Affairs (VA) Puget Sound Health Care System entails sharing 3D printers, materials, software, and personnel. Together, they plan to work toward developing new protocols for the integration of 3D printing into existing workflows. Among these new protocols includes the creation of patient-specific 3D-printed heart models in planning surgery for patients with mitral valve disease.

A patient-specific 3D-printed heart model. Image courtesy of UW Medicine/Seattle.A patient-specific 3D-printed heart model. Image courtesy of UW Medicine/Seattle.

"Imagine the power of holding a life-sized 3D model of your own heart in your hands while your cardiologist discusses your treatment plan and walks you through your upcoming procedure step by step," said Dr. Beth Ripley, a professor of radiology at the University of Washington and chair of the 3D printing advisory panel at VA Puget Sound, in a statement. "This is the reality that we want for all of our patients."

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