Performing complex surgery like open-heart surgery is not an easy job. To help surgeons train for complex procedures, scientists have recently developed a 3D printing realistic model of the human heart.
Practicing on the model that is closest to the real one will no doubt help the cardiologists who are under training.
Thanks to recent advancements in 3D printing technology that made it possible!
However, it is not for the first time the physical replica of a real-sized heart is produced. But older models are typically made of rubber or hard plastic. These models lacked the texture of the real thing. So practicing on this latest model would leave zero margins for error while performing surgery on a real one.
This latest 3D printing technique is called ‘FreeForm Reversible Embedding Suspended Hydrogels’ (FRESH). It is developed at the Lab of Professor Adam Feinberg from Carnegie Mellon University. For printing, it makes use of ‘Bioink’ made out of a natural polymer known as alginate.
The lead author of the study, said, “We can now build a model that not only allows for visual planning but allows for the physical practice,”
“The surgeon can manipulate it and have it actually respond like real tissue so that when they get into the operating site they’ve got an additional layer of realistic practice in that setting.”