Image of Note: A 3-D Perspective on Aortic Aneurysms

3-D-printed models help shape heart care

Karl West, MS, Director of Cleveland Clinic Medical Device Solutions, holds a three-dimensional polymer model of an aortic aneurysm made by one of two rapid prototyping systems (3-D printers) in Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute.

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Cleveland Clinic heart and vascular surgeons are using 3-D-printed models like this to plan surgeries, test innovative devices, and enhance knowledge of the heart and vascular system. Technicians can upload data from high-resolution CT and MRI scans to make the models, which are printed in layers 6/10,000ths of an inch thick.

In the cardiovascular field alone, Cleveland Clinic’s 3-D printers have been used to help craft novel endovascular grafts, replacement valves and a new artificial heart.

For more information, contact Karl West, MS, at