3D Printing Patient-Specific Heart Replicas

MIT engineers have developed a method of 3D printing a soft, flexible, controllable replica of a patient’s heart that can mimic its opposite’s blood-pumping ability. The goal is to be able to tailor treatments to a patient’s specific heart form and function to home in on the best implant for an individual.

“All hearts are different,” says Luca Rosalia , a graduate student in the MIT-Harvard Program in Health Sciences and Technology. “There are massive variations, especially when patients are sick. The advantage of our system is that we can recreate not just the form of a patient’s heart, but also its function in both physiology and disease.”