It may sound like something out of science fiction, but doctors at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., are making hearts. Not actual hearts, but three-dimensional synthetic models churned out by what looks like an ordinary printer.
The only one of its kind at a Washington area hospital, the printer uses data from individual patients to replicate the organs of those individuals, reflecting their particular intricacies and deformities. The device synthesizes images from CT scans or ultrasounds, translating that information into thin layers of plastic that are stacked until they form a three-dimensional object.
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