According to Associate Professor Barlis, “Using our ultra-sensitive heart scans combined with models derived using supercomputers, we are now able to print out segments of the patient’s arteries and hope to tailor devices to fit them perfectly.
No two arteries are shaped the same. We’re all different, with arteries that have different branches and sizes, tapering from larger to smaller. And much like debris accumulates along a riverbank, plaque can cling to certain areas of a person’s artery. So this technology really gives us a clearer picture of those areas.
We ideally want to use models to predict the best type of stent for a patient. Once this process is streamlined, we can have a patient on the table and an artery 3D printed and modeled to guide the procedure”.
According to Co-author and University of Melbourne researcher, Dr. Vikas Thondapu,” the clues about dangerous cholesterol plaques lie in certain disturbances in blood flow patterns.
Our work involves using supercomputers to simulate blood flow in the arteries. The goal is to use blood flow patterns and disturbances to potentially predict the future development of high-risk plaques”.