3D printing tiny hearts: a new innovation at BC Children’s Hospital

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The BC Children’s Hospital is celebrating the launch of a pediatric 3D technology program, the first of its kind in Western Canada.

It’s able to create life-like replicas of child-sized organs, which can better prepare surgeons for a difficult operation.

“We’re still in the early stages of developing this program, but we’re really excited at the progress we’ve made in our first clinical applications,” says John Jacob, head of the digital lab.

Currently, the technology is being used to create small replica hearts for the hospital’s cardiology and cardiovascular surgery division. But Jacob says the potential impact could one day expand across the entire hospital.

“We’re also looking at applications such as training and simulation, helping our learners practice procedures where otherwise they might not be able to, as well in the future, looking at custom devices and implants.”

The printers themselves can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The program is entirely funded by the Ian & Ken McIntosh Families and Kirmac Cares for Kids.

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