Utilizing Three-Dimensional Printing Technology to Assess the Feasibility of High-Fidelity Synthetic Ventricular Septal Defect Models for Simulation in Medical Education

John P. Costello, Laura J. Olivieri, Axel Krieger, Omar Thabit, M. Blair Marshall, Shi Joon Yoo, Peter C. Kim, Richard A. Jonas, Dilip S. Nath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

71 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current educational approach for teaching congenital heart disease (CHD) anatomy to students involves instructional tools and techniques that have significant limitations. This study sought to assess the feasibility of utilizing present-day three-dimensional (3D) printing technology to create high-fidelity synthetic heart models with ventricular septal defect (VSD) lesions and applying these models to a novel, simulation-based educational curriculum for premedical and medical students. Archived, de-identified magnetic resonance images of five common VSD subtypes were obtained. These cardiac images were then segmented and built into 3D computer-aided design models using Mimics Innovation Suite software. An Objet500 Connex 3D printer was subsequently utilized to print a high-fidelity heart model for each VSD subtype. Next, a simulation-based educational curriculum using these heart models was developed and implemented in the instruction of 29 premedical and medical students. Assessment of this curriculum was undertaken with Likert-type questionnaires. High-fidelity VSD models were successfully created utilizing magnetic resonance imaging data and 3D printing. Following instruction with these high-fidelity models, all students reported significant improvement in knowledge acquisition (P < .0001), knowledge reporting (P < .0001), and structural conceptualization (P < .0001) of VSDs. It is feasible to use present-day 3D printing technology to create high-fidelity heart models with complex intracardiac defects. Furthermore, this tool forms the foundation for an innovative, simulation-based educational approach to teach students about CHD and creates a novel opportunity to stimulate their interest in this field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-426
Number of pages6
JournalWorld Journal for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • cardiac anatomy/pathologic anatomy
  • congenital heart disease
  • education
  • learning aids
  • ventricular septal defect

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