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3-D Hearts

Stents, balloons, artificial valves. Today, there are more life-saving heart devices than ever!
Stents, balloons, artificial valves. Today, there are more life-saving heart devices than ever! But a new discovery is taking cardiovascular innovations to the next level. As Gwyn Bevel shows us, scientists have created a three-d heart that's one-of-a-kind.

Every year - half a million americans will have some type of heart surgery. What's happening in this lab could one day make your procedure safer! Researchers at Stanford University are printing three-d models that are an exact replica of a patient's heart. "If you look at the complexity, the detail of what we have, it's extraordinary." first - they take c-t images and load them onto a computer. A software program converts the data into layers. The printer then creates the heart out of hot plastic. "So, the printer is just printing layer by layer to build up a 3d solid." 

The three-d heart could allow doctors to fit devices like catheters, stents, and valves to the exact dimensions of a patient's heart. Surgeons could also test different options in advance - making procedures safer for patients. "When you can actually put a device inside the heart and see how it behaves, that gives you another set of confidence that it's likely to work in a, in a human." it's an innovation that could change the game when it comes to heart care. ("I've never seen anything like this!")

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