Applications of 3D printing in cardiovascular diseases

Andreas A. Giannopoulos, Dimitris Mitsouras, Shi Joon Yoo, Peter P. Liu, Yiannis S. Chatzizisis, Frank J. Rybicki

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

278 Scopus citations


3D-printed models fabricated from CT, MRI, or echocardiography data provide the advantage of haptic feedback, direct manipulation, and enhanced understanding of cardiovascular anatomy and underlying pathologies. Reported applications of cardiovascular 3D printing span from diagnostic assistance and optimization of management algorithms in complex cardiovascular diseases, to planning and simulating surgical and interventional procedures. The technology has been used in practically the entire range of structural, valvular, and congenital heart diseases, and the added-value of 3D printing is established. Patient-specific implants and custom-made devices can be designed, produced, and tested, thus opening new horizons in personalized patient care and cardiovascular research. Physicians and trainees can better elucidate anatomical abnormalities with the use of 3D-printed models, and communication with patients is markedly improved. Cardiovascular 3D bioprinting and molecular 3D printing, although currently not translated into clinical practice, hold revolutionary potential. 3D printing is expected to have a broad influence in cardiovascular care, and will prove pivotal for the future generation of cardiovascular imagers and care providers. In this Review, we summarize the cardiovascular 3D printing workflow, from image acquisition to the generation of a hand-held model, and discuss the cardiovascular applications and the current status and future perspectives of cardiovascular 3D printing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)701-718
Number of pages18
JournalNature Reviews Cardiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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