Researchers Develop New Technique to 3D-Print Heart Models Based on MRI Scans

Heart surgery might be one of the most worrying medical procedures patients ever have to undergo, but in the future we could feel considerably safer in the knowledge that surgeons have already planned the operation beforehand – using a highly realistic, personalised 3D model of the blood-pumping organ in question.

Thanks to a new system devised by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), surgeons are now able to physically assess patients’ hearts before opening them up via 3D-printed models that have been sourced from MRI scans. The system produces a tangible model in just a few hours, enabling physicians to prepare for the anatomical idiosyncrasies of individual patients prior to surgery commencing.

“Our collaborators are convinced that this will make a difference,” said Polina Golland, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, in a press release. “The phrase I heard is that ‘surgeons see with their hands,’ that the perception is in the touch.”Read more


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