Cardiac 3D Printing and its Future Directions
Three-dimensional (3D) printing is at the crossroads of printer and materials engineering, noninvasive diagnostic imaging, computer-aided design, and structural heart intervention. Cardiovascular applications of this technology development include the use of patient-specific 3D models for medical teaching, exploration of valve and vessel function, surgical and catheter-based procedural planning, and early work in designing and refining the latest innovations in percutaneous structural devices. In this review, we discuss the methods and materials being used for 3D printing today. We discuss the basic principles of clinical image segmentation, including coregistration of multiple imaging datasets to create an anatomic model of interest. With applications in congenital heart disease, coronary artery disease, and surgical and catheter-based structural disease, 3D printing is a new tool that is challenging how we image, plan, and carry out cardiovascular interventions.