16-Sep-2020 | Market Research Store

A team from the University of Minnesota along with the support of Medtronic has created a breakthrough method for multi-material 3D printing of realistic models of the aortic valve and the adjacent structures that resemble the exact appearance and feel of a real heart. Furthermore, the 3D-printed soft sensor assortments which are made using particular inks and a personalized 3D printing process are integrated into the patient-specific organ models. Thus, it is believed that these models will definitely be promising in case of nominally invasive procedures and help thousands of sufferers across the globe. The team has successfully 3D printed the aortic root that comprises the aortic valve and the openings for the coronary arteries. The model also had a section of the left ventricle muscle and the mounting aorta created.

The major goal is to avoid the use of patient-specific tools and medical complications to understand the anatomical structure and mechanical activities of the heart and start the implementation of 3D-printed models. The valve implants can be tested to help patient’s better understand their anatomy and the entire procedure. The organ model was basically designed for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure wherein new valves are required. In addition, the condition called aortic stenosis that is found to be affecting the elderly population to be treated through the less invasive TAVR procedure as an alternative to open heart surgery.

The team used silicon-based inks to 3Dprint the model such that it is mechanically resembles the real heart tissue. There are specialized commercial 3D printers available in the market that help develop the realistic soft tissue components that can be optimized and guided to position the valve as per patient’s anatomy. The ink also helps reduce hard calcification on the valve and repair drywall & plaster. The bionic organ model could prove as a promising artificial replacement organ in the coming months.

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