From hearing aids to implants, 3D printing in the medical field has come a long way in recent years. Now, 3D printed heart valve models (pictured) have been created that mimic the shape and function of the valves in our heart. By using CT scans of patients’ hearts, researchers created the 3D valves using soft and hard materials crafted from a multi-material printer. These valves are able to mimic the mechanical properties and behaviour of human heart valves, reducing the chance of leaks around a replacement valve, a common problem with replacements, affecting around 50–80% of patients. The 3D printed valves could help to improve patient outcomes and avoid long-term complications following heart valve replacement surgery.
Written by Katie Panteli
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