3D printed mitral valve models: affordable simulation for robotic mitral valve repair

Ned Premyodhin, Divneet Mandair, Alice S. Ferng, Timothy S. Leach, Ryan P. Palsma, Mohammad Z. Albanna, Zain I. Khalpey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: 3D printed mitral valve (MV) models that capture the suture response of real tissue may be utilized as surgical training tools. Leveraging clinical imaging modalities, 3D computerized modelling and 3D printing technology to produce affordable models complements currently available virtual simulators and paves the way for patient- and pathology-specific preoperative rehearsal. METHODS: We used polyvinyl alcohol, a dissolvable thermoplastic, to 3D print moulds that were casted with liquid platinum-cure silicone yielding flexible, low-cost MV models capable of simulating valvular tissue. Silicone-moulded MV models were fabricated for 2 morphologies: the normal MV and the P2 flail. The moulded valves were plication and suture tested in a laparoscopic trainer box with a da Vinci Si robotic surgical system. One cardiothoracic surgery fellow and 1 attending surgeon qualitatively evaluated the ability of the valves to recapitulate tissue feel through surveys utilizing the 5-point Likert-type scale to grade impressions of the valves. RESULTS: Valves produced with the moulding and casting method maintained anatomical dimensions within 3% of directly 3D printed acrylonitrile butadiene styrene controls for both morphologies. Likert-type scale mean scores corresponded with a realistic material response to sutures (5.0/5), tensile strength that is similar to real MV tissue (5.0/5) and anatomical appearance resembling real MVs (5.0/5), indicating that evaluators ‘agreed’ that these aspects of the model were appropriate for training. Evaluators ‘somewhat agreed’ that the overall model durability was appropriate for training (4.0/5) due to the mounting design. Qualitative differences in repair quality were notable between fellow and attending surgeon. CONCLUSIONS: 3D computer-aided design, 3D printing and fabrication techniques can be applied to fabricate affordable, high-quality educational models for technical training that are capable of differentiating proficiency levels among users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-123
Number of pages5
JournalInteractive cardiovascular and thoracic surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • 3D printing
  • Mitral valve modelling
  • Polyvinyl alcohol moulding
  • Preoperative rehearsal
  • Robotic surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of '3D printed mitral valve models: affordable simulation for robotic mitral valve repair'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this