FEB 26, 2016 5:39 PM PST

3D Printing Makes Models of Heart Disease Better Than Ever

WRITTEN BY: Kara Marker
Heart disease is the leading cause of death nationally and globally. Using the most advanced 3D printing technology, scientists are one step closer to better, more effective treatments and preventions.

"No two arteries are shaped the same. We're all different, with arteries that have different branches and sizes, tapering from larger to smaller,” said lead author and University of Melbourne Associate Professor Peter Barlis. “And much like debris accumulates along a riverbank, plaque can cling to certain areas of a person's artery. So this technology really gives us a clearer picture of those areas.”
 
A 3D Printed Artery


Using a supercomputer with a super-high resolution camera called “optical coherence technology,” scientists from the University of Melbourne have created an enormously useful tool for doctors. They have produced exquisite models of heart disease, designed from and for the patients who need answers for their conditions.

What stent should I use? This is a common question heart surgeons ask themselves when deciding how to treat a blocked blood vessel. With images gathered during a routine angiogram, an x-ray test to test for artery blockage, scientists created a 3D-printed artery from the supercomputer to help them diagnose their patients (American Heart Association).

Doctors can also detect “hotspots” for plaque build-up, an important step in preventing dangerous cardiac events like heart attacks. Barlis hopes to “tailor devices to fit [each patient] perfectly.” His study was published in the European Heart Journal.

This new technology creates a unique opportunity for doctors to hold extremely specific heart models in their hands, enabling them to diagnose more accurately than ever. As 3D printing technology enhances, scientists can only dream about what is to come for its applications in science.
 

Source: University of Melbourne
About the Author
  • I am a scientific journalist and enthusiast, especially in the realm of biomedicine. I am passionate about conveying the truth in scientific phenomena and subsequently improving health and public awareness. Sometimes scientific research needs a translator to effectively communicate the scientific jargon present in significant findings. I plan to be that translating communicator, and I hope to decrease the spread of misrepresented scientific phenomena! Check out my science blog: ScienceKara.com.
You May Also Like
NOV 26, 2020
Cardiology
Possible Cardioprotective Effects of the Diabetes Drug Empagliflozin
NOV 26, 2020
Possible Cardioprotective Effects of the Diabetes Drug Empagliflozin
Cardiovascular disease and diabetes are often associated with each other, as many issues caused by diabetes promote hear ...
DEC 11, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
E-Cigarette Flavors Damage Heart Cells
DEC 11, 2020
E-Cigarette Flavors Damage Heart Cells
E-cigarettes or vapes were introduced a few years ago, and researchers are still trying to learn more about how they aff ...
JAN 05, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Brown Fat Appears to Protect Against Disease
JAN 05, 2021
Brown Fat Appears to Protect Against Disease
Not all fat is the same. White fat is what we're usually thinking of when we think of flabby tissue that stores excess c ...
MAR 30, 2021
Cardiology
Looking at a Fertility Drug's Cardiac Safety
MAR 30, 2021
Looking at a Fertility Drug's Cardiac Safety
New drugs go through a long and arduous process before they can grace a doctor’s office. One of the last steps is ...
JUN 18, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
FDA Approves First New Drug Since 2014 for Weight-loss
JUN 18, 2021
FDA Approves First New Drug Since 2014 for Weight-loss
A new medication called ‘Wegovy’ produced by Novo Nordisk has been approved by the Food and Drug Administrat ...
JUL 12, 2021
Cardiology
Myocarditis in Children is Usually Due to a Virus
JUL 12, 2021
Myocarditis in Children is Usually Due to a Virus
The heart is a muscle, and the wall of the heart has several layers. In a condition called myocarditis, the middle layer ...
Loading Comments...