TechConnect recently announced the annual TechConnect Innovation Awards. Among the winners is a project headed up by Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute (GTMI) researchers Chuck Zhang, Kan Wang and Ben Wang. The TechConnect Innovation Awards selects the top early-stage innovations from around the world through an industry-review process of the top 15% of annually submitted technologies into the TechConnect World Conference. Rankings are based on the potential positive impact the submitted technology will have on a specific industry sector.
Zhang, who is a professor in the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) and an affiliated faculty member with GTMI, K. Wang, a GTMI research engineer, and Ben Wang, the Executive Director of GTMI and a professor and Gwaltney Chair in Manufacturing Systems in ISyE, have been working a few years on perfecting ways to 3D print tissue-mimicking heart valves, also called phantoms, from an individual patient’s heart scan. The valves can emulate the disease and conditions that are present in the patient’s aorta. This can help doctors and surgeons explore treatment options and develop an optimum plan for surgery. The project also involves collaborators from Piedmont Heart Institute.