You Can Print Coronary Arteries?

Guest post by Nick Perilli, Innovation Librarian

The Innovation Space team at the Ginsburg Health Sciences Library recently completed the first major project for their new medical grade printer: modeling and printing a series of coronary artery models with Temple University Hospital cardiology fellow Dr. Matthew Delfiner. Per Dr. Delfiner, “We’re using 3D printed models of coronary arteries from real patients to demonstrate how the vessels look from different angles and perspectives, a skill key to understanding coronary angiography, [an examination of blood or lymph vessels by x-ray].”

Using a combination of Meshmixer and Blender software, Innovation Librarians Nick Perilli and Patrick Lyons were able to edit the initial scanned artery (pictured above) to remove stray 3D artifacts from the model, fix errors, and add a stand for display purposes. The model was then printed using the space’s new Formlabs 3BL resin printer. Three models were printed in total, one complete model and two others highlighting certain areas of the artery. 

Dr. Delfiner posted a thread on Twitter using the model to illustrate coronary fluoroscopic anatomy, which received 300 likes (and counting) and over 45,000 impressions. He will continue to use the models for educating fellows on an as-needed basis.

The Innovation Space team has several other interesting projects in progress, including modeling prototypes for Temple University Hospital’s MedFlight response team and printing a flexible neck brace for the Temple Co-op team at Drexel University. They will again be working with Dr. Delfiner on a geometric model of a left ventricle during the fall semester.

For more information on the Innovation Space and its projects, please visit our guide and/or contact ginsin3d@temple.edu. Or stop in! The team is here to help you innovate and create, Monday through Friday, during normal business hours!