Faster, personalized, 3D printed heart models for surgery planning

MIT and Boston Children’s Hospital researchers are converting heart MRI scans into 3D printed physical models,  for surgical planning,  in 3-4 hours.  Previously, the process took 10 hours. The project, which limits human input to increase accuracy, is led by Professor Polina Golland.  Physicist Medhi Moghari enhanced the precision of the MRI, decreasing the dependence on generic models, and enabling the the team to create the algorithm and print the model in the shorter time frame.

The algorithm examines patches of unsegmented cross sections and looks for similar features in the nearest segmented cross sections. Golland believes that its performance might be improved if it also examined patches that ran obliquely across several cross sections, which will be the next phase of research.