How 3D printing can help mend a broken heart

2017/6/17 18:40:05

Using 3-D printing technology, Brenda Ogle, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, has created a patch a doctor could apply to mend a patient’s broken heart.

 

Photo: A false-color scanning electron micrograph (SEM)* of a blood clot protruding from an arterial entrance in a heart chamber. This type of clot, known as coronary thrombosis, is the usual cause of myocardial infarction (heart attack).

 


BY JESSICA FIRGER for Newsweek, June 17, 2017

 

Each year, more than 700,000 people suffer myocardial infarction, aka a heart attack. Thanks to medical advances, there are myriad ways for a doctor to get the blood properly pumping and save a person’s life. A cardiologist might give a patient medication to clear or loosen blockages. Or a doctor might insert a catheter to remove the clot, or place stents in the artery so it stays open.

 

These interventions have vastly improved survival rates, but they don’t heal the damage caused by a cardiac event. The heart is really just one big muscle, and trauma to any muscle does some damage, which becomes scar tissue. Scar tissue on the heart means it functions far less optimally, which eventually leads to heart failure.

 

Short of a transplant, there isn’t a long-term option to fix a damaged ticker. But a team of researchers say they’ve come up with a high-tech solution that could revolutionize cardiology. Using 3-D printing technology, Brenda Ogle, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, has created a patch a doctor could apply to mend a patient’s broken heart.

 

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http://www.newsweek.com/how-3d-printi ... -mend-broken-heart-626789

 

*Photo credit: P. MOTTA/G. MACCHIARELLI/SAPIENZA UNIVERSITY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBARY/GETTY

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