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Brain surgery and 3DP: rapid models of cerebral aneurysms

by • August 18, 2016 • No Comments

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Jichi Medical University School of Medicine Department of Neurosurgery in Japan have created a method for building solid versions of cerebral aneurysms, via a tiny in size 3D printing device with ABS resin. This has been done preceding, but the team has shortened the printing time of previous conventional methods. With additional investigation, the team managed to apply the method to emergency clipping surgery frequently synonymous with severe brain aneurysms.

Clipping aneurysms

Lateral view of craniotomy incision with inset of cranial aneurysm clipping. Image: University of Rochester

What is a cerebral aneurysm?

A cerebral aneurysm (in addition known as an intracranial or intracerebral aneurysm) is a weak or thin spot on a blood vessel in the brain which balloons out and fills with blood. The bulging aneurysm can put pressure on a nerve or surrounding brain tissue. It may in addition leak or rupture, spilling blood into the surrounding tissue (called a hemorrhage). Some cerebral aneurysms, particularly those which are quite tiny, do not bleed or cause other problems. Cerebral aneurysms can occur anywhere in the brain, but most are located along a loop of arteries which run between the underside of the brain and the base of the skull (Courtesy National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke).

Why do we require a 3DP fix to this?

Brain aneurysms, when ruptured, can be fatal. Statistics say which there is a rupture equite 18 minutes, and in around 40% of cases it results in death. Of those who survive, of 66% suffer a permanent neurological deficit. Approximately 15% of patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) die preceding reaching the hospital. Any solution to this is a welcome one, and there have been most makes it to involving 3D printing.

Jichi University

Jichi University. Image: Jichi University

What are the team at Jichi University doing differently?

At the University, a total of 16 patients diagnosed with acute subarachnoid hemorrhage resulting of cerebral aneurysm rupture were utilized in the study of the innovation, with emergency clipping being performed on the day of hospitalization. Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine (DICOM) data received of computed tomography angiography (CTA) scans were edited and converted to stereolithography (STL) file formats, followed by the production of 3D versions of the cerebral aneurysm via the 3D printing device.

On average, the time of the moment of hospitalization to surgery was 242 minutes. With the implementation of the 3D printed version, the emergency clipping device can be placed much additional rapidly and efficiently. Originally timed at 67 minutes, the printing time has been reduced to nearly an hour after additional experience was gained.

On the other hand 3D printing is frequently considered to involve massive costs and long building time, the method utilized in the study required shorter time and lower costs than conventional methods for building 3D cerebral aneurysm versions, thus building it suitable for use in emergency clipping.

Jichi University

Jichi University. Image: Jichi University

You can read additional of the University and their research projects at their website.

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