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3D Medical Printing Helps Advance Research On Cerebral Aneurysm

Paige Anne Carter



Cerebral aneurysms affect one in every 50 individual in a population. It is also responsible for the 20,000 deaths in the United States. The Arizona State University (ASU) pioneered a program regarding cerebral aneurysm research. The research findings are applied at hospital partners by designing improved endovascular medical devices used to treat cerebral aneurysms.

The highlight of the research is the use of 3D medical printing wherein they used a device called Solidscape which is a BenchMark 3D printer designed to produce high quality and castable wax masters to create precise and accurate models of the brain. According to Dr. David Frakes, the principal researcher, this 3D medical printing technology builds a model of the core of the blood vessels which is then translated into a transparent flow model. This means that the end product of the 3D printing is a transparent block which serves as an exact replica of the cerebral aneurysm of a particular patient. This makes it easier for doctors to study the exact condition of the patient. In fact, the objective of this particular technology is to establish the foundation of the fluid dynamics of aneurysm treated with endovascular devices.

Solidscape is now being used by many educational institutes in their research projects that are related not only to medical but also industrial and military in nature. What Solidscape 3d medical printing technology is about is to provide advance image processing to have unlimited design flexibility as well as to keep the expenses down thus making treatment more accessible to all patients suffering from cerebral aneurysms.

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Yesterday I saw a talk at the 2014 RSNA meeting that discussed the exact same process to validate MRI flow models in coronary arteries. That work was being done at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. This technology has great potential in vascular medicine of all kinds.

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