We have started!

Hi everyone!

I would like to inform you about the progression we made in the previous weeks.

We started with getting really into the anatomy of the heart, and the specific qualities of the different parts of the heart. For example: did you know that the inside of the left atrium (linkerboezem) of the heart is quite smooth in comparison with the right atrium. This seams quite trivial, but the roughness of the right atrium makes it possible to install a artificial pacemaker in it. Things like this are far more easy to explain when you have a detailed and anatomical correct model of the heart. This leads to the next question we have answered: what will be the purpose of the model, and why should we want it. Together with the LUMC we figured out the answer to this.

The real raison d’être of the 3D printed heart should be the (cardiac defect) patient, who is in need to understand the issues of his own heart. Because the heart is a complicated organ, especially when it is malfunctioning, it is very hard to describe with words how it works and what is wrong. With images and simple models of the heart it becomes easier, but still some things are hardly visible, or just difficult to understand. Especially because there are no physical models of defect hearts. Another reason why the LUMC wants 3D-printed cardiac defect hearts is because of their huge and unique collection of preserved hearts with all kinds of defects. This gives them a great knowledge of heart defects, but also the accessibility and possibility to scan this hearts. Such defect unoperated hearts can’t be seen in living form anymore, because they are detected in prenatal stage nowadays, and operated just after birth. Digitalizing and printing some of these hearts is a great way of making use of this collection and to save it for the future (they tear down due to the use for educational instructions).

We did a little orientation of the different ways we could solve the problem. An overview of this can be found below.

Project overview visual1b

Different sub questions can be extracted from this, like: what are the possibilities of the printer, and: what qualities should the digital model have? But the real focus stays on the question: what should the methodology look like to convert an existing cardiac defect into a 3D model which is suited for printing?



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