Accessing 3D Printed Vascular Phantoms for Procedural Simulation
Web of Science
AuthorColes-Black, J; Bolton, D; Chuen, J
Source TitleFrontiers in Surgery
PublisherFRONTIERS MEDIA SA
Surgery (Austin & Northern Health)
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsColes-Black, J., Bolton, D. & Chuen, J. (2021). Accessing 3D Printed Vascular Phantoms for Procedural Simulation. FRONTIERS IN SURGERY, 7, https://doi.org/10.3389/fsurg.2020.626212.
Access StatusOpen Access
Introduction: 3D printed patient-specific vascular phantoms provide superior anatomical insights for simulating complex endovascular procedures. Currently, lack of exposure to the technology poses a barrier for adoption. We offer an accessible, low-cost guide to producing vascular anatomical models using routine CT angiography, open source software packages and a variety of 3D printing technologies. Methods: Although applicable to all vascular territories, we illustrate our methodology using Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms (AAAs) due to the strong interest in this area. CT aortograms acquired as part of routine care were converted to representative patient-specific 3D models, and then printed using a variety of 3D printing technologies to assess their material suitability as aortic phantoms. Depending on the technology, phantoms cost $20-$1,000 and were produced in 12-48 h. This technique was used to generate hollow 3D printed thoracoabdominal aortas visible under fluoroscopy. Results: 3D printed AAA phantoms were a valuable addition to standard CT angiogram reconstructions in the simulation of complex cases, such as short or very angulated necks, or for positioning fenestrations in juxtarenal aneurysms. Hollow flexible models were particularly useful for device selection and in planning of fenestrated EVAR. In addition, these models have demonstrated utility other settings, such as patient education and engagement, and trainee and anatomical education. Further study is required to establish a material with optimal cost, haptic and fluoroscopic fidelity. Conclusion: We share our experiences and methodology for developing inexpensive 3D printed vascular phantoms which despite material limitations, successfully mimic the procedural challenges encountered during live endovascular surgery. As the technology continues to improve, 3D printed vascular phantoms have the potential to disrupt how endovascular procedures are planned and taught.
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