3D Printed Models used to develop Smart Cardiac Catheters by EU Researchers and Materialise

Share this Article

The European Union recently awarded funding to Belgium-based additive manufacturing company, Materialise. Materialise is receiving funding as part of the Cognitive Autonomous Catheter Operating in Dynamic Environments, or ‘Cascade Project’. The Cascade Project is a research team made up of seven partner institutes around the European Union, including the University of Leuven in Belgium, University College London in England and the University of Bremen in Germany.

3D Printed Catheter made with Materialise's HeartPrint Flex Material

3D Printed Catheter made with Materialise’s HeartPrint Flex Material

The project’s primary mission is to develop a new line of robotic catheters that will be able to identify areas in a patient’s blood vessels that are at risk during cardiac catheterizations, a medical procedure used to diagnose and treat some heart conditions.

During a cardiac catheterization, a catheter is put into a person’s blood vessels through the arm, upper thigh or neck. The catheter is then threaded to the person’s heart. Once the catheter is in place, doctors are able to do diagnostic tests and treat ailments as necessary. Though cardiac catheterization rarely causes serious complications, there is a risk.

If the Cascade Project is able to create “smart” catheters, the catheters would be able to actively change their course within a person’s vascular tree, reducing or even eliminating cardiac catheterization-related complications such as dislodging plaque or calcium into the circulatory system or damaging arterial walls.

heart

To aid in the creation of smart catheters, Materialise is providing researchers with life-like 3D-printed models to use in their research. The models were created from the CT images of real patients. The CT images were inputted into Mimics, Materialise’s 3D-imaging software, and then 3D printed by Materialise using its proprietary HeartPrint Flex material. HeartPrint Flex is an artificial substance that gives models a flesh-like feel and appearance. It even pulses when attached to a pump to simulate blood flow.

Cascade Project researchers also may study other possible circulatory-system related pathologies in their testing environment such as aneurysms, extensive calcifications and even hearts with anatomical abnormalities which cause them to be distorted in shape.

During a recent review by international scientists and EU representatives, the Cascade Project received positive feedback, which may allow the project to research related issues in the years to come.

Learn more about the Cascade Project at https://www.cascade-fp7.eu/ and Materialise’s biomedical additive manufacturing technologies at https://biomedical.materialise.com/heartprint.  Let us know what you think about this amazing technology in the Materialise 3D printed cardiac catheter forum thread on 3DPB.com.  Below is a quick clip related to Materialise’s HeartPrint technology.

 

Share this Article


Recent News

PEAK Launches Alien Beast 3D Printed Shoes for Limited Sale

Arevo Announces New Aqua 2 Carbon Fiber 3D Printer, $25M in Series B Funding



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D printed automobiles

3D Printed Food


You May Also Like

Nexa3D Acquires NXT Factory, Introduces Eco-Friendly 3D Printing Washing Solvent

While Nexa3D may specialize in manufacturing super-fast stereolithography 3D printers, the company has been branching out recently, and narrowing its focus on the materials side of things. It launched the...

Featured

DyeMansion Secures Additional $14M in Series B Funding from New & Existing Investors

German company DyeMansion is known for its coloring and post-processing equipment, such as its three-step Print-to-Product workflow geared toward industrial 3D printing environments. Now, in order to continue transforming and...

T3D Announces New LCD-Based High-Speed 3D Printing System

Taiwan 3D Tech, also known as T3D, is a startup spin-off from the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST). Headquartered in Taipei, the company was officially founded in...

3DPOD Episode 32: Tuan TranPham, Arevo

Tuan is known universally by his first name alone. Like Madonna and Beyonce, everyone knows hi by just that one name. In Tuan’s case his fame is 3D printing specific...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.