3D-Printed Heart Valve Models Are Real Lifesavers

Heart valve models created with advanced 3D printers by researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology and the Piedmont Heart Institute could soon assist cardiologists in preparing to perform life-saving heart valve replacements. The researchers are using standard medical imaging and new 3D printing technologies to create patient-specific heart valve models that mimic the look and feel of the real valves. Their aim is to improve the success rate of transcatheter aortic valve replacements (TAVR) by picking the right prosthetic and avoiding a common complication known as paravalvular leakage.