Saturday 1 November 2014

3D Printed Heart saved Baby’s Life

3D Printing – Life Saving Surgery

Advanced technology has given rise to improvement in the digital world which has enhanced the life style to a great extent. 3D printing or additive manufacturing – AM can be referred to various processes in printing a 3 dimensional object.

3D Printed Heart
A 3D printer could be a type of industrial robot. This has also proved to be of immense help recently where surgeons used3D printed model of the infant’s unusual heart in preparation for life saving surgery.

These surgeons give credit to the 3D printing which helped them to save the life of a 2 weeks infant in need of complicated heart surgery. With the use of MRI scan data, the surgeons, at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, New York City, 3D printed a copy of the heart of the infant which was unusually structured and with holes for a surgery which would have been dangerous as well as complicating.

The 3D printed heart provided an opportunity to the surgeons in studying the organ and helped in developing a detailed surgery strategy. According to Dr Emile Bacha who performed the surgery, informed Connecticut local media that the infants’ heart had holes which was not uncommon with CHD though the chambers of the heart were also in unusual shape, like a maze.

Technique like a Road Map

This technique proved to be of immense help unlike the past instances wherein they had to stop the heart and look inside to decide what should be done. The technique helped like a road map in guiding them on and they were capable of repairing the child’s heart with a single operation.

Matthew’s Hearts of Hope had funded this project, which is a Connecticut based foundation and it is said that another 3D printed heart is in the pipeline, the details of which would be following somewhere next month. In normal situation, a surgeon views the heart for the first time when the chest is opened up, but now it is no longer the same. They now have the ability to plan the surgery much in advance on seeing a 3D Heart of an infant or a child.

3D Printing in Modern Machine

Another incident has also proved to be successful with this cutting edge medical technology where a Kentucky surgeon Erle Austin with the use of 3D printing was able to conduct the most difficult surgeries.

He had informed Maker Faire in Rome that he was using 3D printing to understand a complicated heart. Austin, like the surgeons at Morgan Stanley, had used the technology to know his approach to heart surgery at Kosair Children’s Hospital on a young child. Austin printed a copy of the heart in three parts with the use of experimental version of the Makerbot Replicator 2.

He stated that since he had an identical reconstruction he could take the front of the heart and see inside and thus make a plan on how to go about with the flow of blood and move the obstruction in the heart. The NHS is planning the use of 3D printing in modern machine while US is pioneering this high tech biomedical research and the Ministry of Defence has expressed interest in such a type of a project.

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