May 12, 2018
In a major breakthrough, a 3D- Printed model of a deformed mitral valve was produced, based on 4D echo cardio graphic imaging data obtained from GE Vivid E95, and presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for European Pediatric and Congenital Cardiology (AEPC) (http://www.aepc2018.org/) which took place in Athens, 8th -12th of May.
Leonardo Bilalis, a design engineer of 3D diagnostic models for 3D Life, a 3D printing company based in Athens Greece, with help from Materialise Simon Vanooteghem, analyzed the raw data files using Mimics, a Materialise software package, reconstructed all the images and produced a full – scaled, detailed diagnostic model of the diseased mitral valve, as an aid to the planned surgical intervention. Pediatric Cardiologist Dr. Elsa Tsapaki, who had performed the echocardiographic examination, presented the images obtained, while Mr. Kosmas Benekos from G.E. and Leonardo Bilalis, from 3DLife presented how the new ultrasound technology and 3D Printing can be used to produce models of heart valves.
Surgeons have relied until now on the mental perception they form from the usual imaging technologies to plan for the necessary operation. This innovative technology which results in an actual physical 3D model of the valve, provides the surgeon with an invaluable and exciting new tool to help him plan the repair before seeing the real valve in the operating room and without any time pressure. Dr George E. Sarris, pediatric heart surgeon, at Athens Heart Surgery Institute outlined the numerous benefits of this methodology to the heart valve repair.