Low-cost physiological simulation system for endovascular treatment of aneurysms

Oskar Pfau 1 , André Kemmling 2  and Philipp Rostalski 1
  • 1 Institute for Electrical Engineering in Medicine, University of Lübeck,, Lübeck, Germany
  • 2 Institute of Neuroradiology, University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein,, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany


Minimally invasive procedures are more and more becoming the standard treatment for many surgical procedures such as the treatment of cerebral aneurysms. In an endovascular procedure the aneurysm is filled with flexible platinum coils leading to embolization and blocking the blood flow in the aneurysm. This established treatment needs high skills and experience on the surgeon. In order to practice and plan a specific procedure or test a new device, a realistic simulation environment is needed. Modern 3D printing technology allows the fabrication of patient specific models incorporating the exact geometry of the pathological anatomy. This article describes the development of a low-cost physiological simulation system for the training of the endovascular treatment of aneurysms. In order to practice the procedure in a realistic scenario, a 3D printed model of the aneurysm is embedded in a fluidic simulation s ystem. In addition to the patient-specific anatomy of the aneurysm a pulsatile water flow is generated, which emulates the influence of blood flow on the behaviour of catheters and coils during deployment. The system consist of a controllable pump circuit generating a pulsatile flow which can be regulated automatically and additionally controlled externally by the user. For a suitable representation, a display which graphically represents the sensor data and settings is employed. The components were compactly integrated in a small case allowing for easy deployment in training workshops. The simulation setup was successfully tested in prospective patient specific treatment planning and workshops for students.

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Current Directions in Biomedical Engineering is an open access journal and closely related to the journal Biomedical Engineering - Biomedizinische Technik. CDBME is a forum for the exchange of knowledge in the fields of biomedical engineering, medical information technology and biotechnology/bioengineering for medicine and addresses engineers, natural scientists, and clinicians working in research, industry, or clinical practice.