A 3D computer-aided design (CAD) model of a normal 17-year-old heart was downloaded from the NIH 3D Print Exchange in the form of a stereolithography (.stl) file. The model was first rotated to orient the apex downward, and a section of the myocardium was digitally truncated using Tinkercad (Autodesk). The geometry was then alternatively smoothed and simplified in MeshLab to eliminate the noise and asperities of the model surface. Tinkercad was next used to generate positive and negative models of the desired geometry and to digitally carve out a wedge in the section of the anterior wall and the septum, in the vicinity of the LAD coronary artery, which subsequently served as a reservoir for the cardiac OBB matrix. These models were built at a 1:2 scale using an Objet30 3D printer (Stratasys) to serve as masters for the casting of the final heart visualization model and cardiac tissue receptacle. This three-step process consisted of the casting of a transparent block of PDMS (SYLGARD 184 at 10:1 base:curing agent) off of the outer surface of the sectioned myocardium master, the casting of the actual truncated myocardium using a lightly colored PDMS (using red and white Silc-Pig in SYLGARD 184), and the assembly of those two parts with PDMS acting as glue and filling the ventricles. A 3D printed wedge plug was used during the curing step to ensure that the cardiac tissue wedge reservoir remained open. The print path was generated by extracting the LAD and one of its diagonal branches from the original CAD model. The stereolithography file was sliced, and a MATLAB routine was used to skeletonize the vascular channels and convert it into GCode. Because of the low resolution of the CAD model, only a portion of the LAD and a single diagonal could be extracted from patient data; extra septal and diagonal branches were manually added to the coronary vasculature print path, using geometries similar to those found in vivo.

Note: The content above has been extracted from a research article, so it may not display correctly.

Please log in to submit your questions online.
Your question will be posted on the Bio-101 website. We will send your questions to the authors of this protocol and Bio-protocol community members who are experienced with this method. you will be informed using the email address associated with your Bio-protocol account.

We use cookies on this site to enhance your user experience. By using our website, you are agreeing to allow the storage of cookies on your computer.