From hearing aids to implants, 3D printing in the medical field has come a long way in recent years. Now, 3D printed heart valve models (pictured) have been created that mimic the shape and function of the valves in our heart. By using CT scans of patients’ hearts, researchers created the 3D valves using soft and hard materials crafted from a multi-material printer. These valves are able to mimic the mechanical properties and behaviour of human heart valves, reducing the chance of leaks around a replacement valve, a common problem with replacements, affecting around 50–80% of patients. The 3D printed valves could help to improve patient outcomes and avoid long-term complications following heart valve replacement surgery.
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.
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