Technical Briefs

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm: From Clinical Imaging to Realistic Replicas

[+] Author and Article Information
Sergio Ruiz de Galarreta, Raúl Antón

Mechanical Department,
Universidad de Navarra,
San Sebastián 20018, Spain

Aitor Cazón

CEIT and Mechanical Department,
Universidad de Navarra,
San Sebastián 20018, Spain
e-mail: acazon@tecnun.es

Ender A. Finol

Department of Biomedical Engineering,
The University of Texas at San Antonio,
San Antonio, TX 78249

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Bioengineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF BIOMECHANICAL ENGINEERING. Manuscript received July 12, 2013; final manuscript received October 29, 2013; accepted manuscript posted October 31, 2013; published online December 4, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Jonathan Vande Geest.

J Biomech Eng 136(1), 014502 (Dec 04, 2013) (5 pages) Paper No: BIO-13-1314; doi: 10.1115/1.4025883 History: Received July 12, 2013; Revised October 29, 2013; Accepted October 31, 2013

The goal of this work is to develop a framework for manufacturing nonuniform wall thickness replicas of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs). The methodology was based on the use of computed tomography (CT) images for virtual modeling, additive manufacturing for the initial physical replica, and a vacuum casting process and range of polyurethane resins for the final rubberlike phantom. The average wall thickness of the resulting AAA phantom was compared with the average thickness of the corresponding patient-specific virtual model, obtaining an average dimensional mismatch of 180 μm (11.14%). The material characterization of the artery was determined from uniaxial tensile tests as various combinations of polyurethane resins were chosen due to their similarity with ex vivo AAA mechanical behavior in the physiological stress configuration. The proposed methodology yields AAA phantoms with nonuniform wall thickness using a fast and low-cost process. These replicas may be used in benchtop experiments to validate deformations obtained with numerical simulations using finite element analysis, or to validate optical methods developed to image ex vivo arterial deformations during pressure-inflation testing.

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Fig. 1

Flow chart describing the artery replication process

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Fig. 2

Partition lines for the artery, with their proper connector pins (left), AM artery within the mold and filling the frame with silicon (center), and the final outer mold once cut open (right)

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Fig. 3

Process for the inner mold: silicone mold with the AM artery (left), filling the mold with liquid wax (center), and opening the AM artery to remove the wax mold (right)

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Fig. 4

Vacuum casting process for the artery: silicon mold with the wax mold inside ready for casting the PUR resin (left), opening the mold to remove the artery (center), and the final artery replica (right)

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Fig. 5

Stress-strain curves for PUR resins and 3D printing versus ex vivo experiments for normal and AAA arteries from Raghavan and Vorp [11]




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