Bradley White holding a 3D-printed Heart. Image credit: Materialise
Materialise have developed a new 3D-printed heart model for the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in order to assist a 16-year-old patient born with a large cardiac tumor. This 3D-printed model, HeartPrint®, allowed the physicians to decide the best treatment option for the patient’s irregular heartbeat.
The cardiac tumor was detected when the patient, Bradley White, was three years old. However, despite repeated heart surgeries, the tumor could not be dissolved. Materialise was then contacted by the Heart Institute’s Director of Advanced Imaging, Dr. Michael Taylor to develop a 3D-printed model of the patient’s heart, so that the link between the tumor and the adjacent anatomical structures could be understood more effectively.
Materialise used the Mimics Innovation Suite software from the patient’s CT scan data to develop the 3D-printed model, wherein the tumor was printed in an opaque material, whilst the anatomical structures were etched in a transparent and flexible material.
Doctors were originally considering a surgical resection of the tumor, but this procedure is somewhat risky. Instead, the innovative heart model allowed them to perform an electrophysiology study and the subsequent catheter ablation procedure on the patient. The HeartPrint® model also provided a better insight into the patient’s unique anatomy. Post surgery, Bradley is now leading a normal life.
According to Dr. David Morales from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, 3D printing takes imaging to a whole new level and can play an important role in the years to come.
Materialise is planning to advance the 3D printing technology to help with more such cases in the future.