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Engineering ways to aid heart-surgery preparation

Heart Model with Justin Ryan

ASU biomedical engineering doctoral student Justin Ryan is on research team that is developing individualized, anatomically precise heart models and producing them with three-dimensional printing technology. Photo: Daniel Friedman/Raising Arizona Kids magazine

Posted March 14, 2013

Arizona State University researchers and physicians at the Children’s Heart Center at Phoenix Children’s Hospital are collaborating on some of the first applications of new technologies that promise to significantly aid correction of heart defects.

The hospital is experimenting with using custom-made, three-dimensional physical models of hearts developed by an ASU research team led by David Frakes, an assistant professor in the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering and the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, two of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

To readily produce heart models based on the conditions of individual patients, the hospital is also using a three-dimensional printing process with help from Justin Ryan, an ASU biomedical engineering doctoral student on Frakes’ team.

The individualized models – showing precise, color-coded depictions of anatomical structures – provide information that they believe will aid medical experts in devising effective surgical strategies and even reduce the time it takes to perform surgeries.

A recent feature in Raising Arizona Kids magazine, including a video, explains more about the heart modeling and three-dimensional model printing techniques. Read the article and see the video.

Read more about the projects:

3-D technology boosts project to aid heart surgery

Heart In Your Hand project shows promise in improving surgery, medical education

Media Contact:
Joe Kullman, [email protected]
(480) 965-8122
Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering



About The Author

Joe Kullman

Joe Kullman is a science writer for the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Before joining Arizona State University in 2006, Joe worked as a reporter, writer and editor for newspapers and magazines dating back to the dawn of the age of the personal computer. He began his career while earning degrees in journalism and philosophy from Kent State University in Ohio. Media Contact: [email protected] | 480-965-8122 | Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Communications

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