3D Printing and Medical Devices: Printing Physiologically Accurate Vascular Phantoms
3D Printed Physiologically Accurate Phantom of the Superficial Femoral Artery
Vascular phantoms advance patient safety by allowing medical professionals to simulate patient vasculature for medical device validation, surgical planning, and education. While currently available vascular phantoms match anatomy exactly, they do not accurately simulate the behavior of a patient’s body which leads to medical device failure or failed surgeries. A variety of patient-specific factors can lead to varying vessel wall properties and fluid flow. Therefore, each patient’s physiology can affect the surgical process and the success of medical devices. Our team, working under Dr. David Frakes, aims to create 3D-printed physiologically accurate models that predict and better represent a patient’s vasculature and its behavior. Our team performed mechanical testing on digital anatomy materials from Stratasys, a leading 3D printing company, to understand their material properties, including Young’s modulus, Poisson’s ratio, and stiffness. This data optimized our finite element analysis (FEA) model, which helped us understand how changes in thickness and form affected deformation. Additionally, we 3D-printed blood vessels with combinations of materials and thicknesses and tested them through pressure experiments to mimic static and dynamic arterial pressure. Our final product is a phantom of the superficial femoral artery (SFA) that was designed to match circumferential stretch and material properties found in literature. Furthermore, we created a novel interface between the mechanical properties of digital anatomy materials and of imaged vessels. This interface will allow anyone to tailor vessels to patient-specific physiology using 4D imaging of a patient’s vasculature.
Dr. David Frakes PhD
Healthcare Department/Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Emory University and Georgia Tech