The numbers are stark: Cerebral aneurysms affect 1 in 50 people and contribute to nearly 20,000 deaths in the USA alone every year. If an aneurysmal sac ruptures in the brain it becomes a highly lethal condition with a 50% mortality rate per rupture.
Arizona State University hosts one of the leading programs in cerebral aneurysm research with funding provided in part by the Mayo Clinic and National Science Foundation, among others. The ASU advanced medical research findings are directly applied at participating hospital partners and in the design of improved endovascular medical devices.
“The Solidscape machine is the heart, backbone of our process. We use that to build the core blood vessel models that we then translate into transparent flow models for our experiments,” according to Dr. David Frakes. Solidscape is one of the highest precision 3D printer manufacturers in the industry and is dedicated to supplying medical research facilities with technologies that have the highest 3D printer reviews and efficient, easy-to-use 3D printer software.
A cerebral aneurysm, from 3D printed wax model to translucent mold for use in fluids testing.
“The end product of our physical 3D modeling stage is a transparent block wherein there is a lost-core or a hollow portion of the model that is an exact replica of a cerebral aneurysm from a person. Rapid prototyping is how we get that first positive, before we get the negative, which is the flow model,” explains Dr. Frakes.
“All of the ground-truth data that is informing our simulations in the end, it comes from these models that the Solidscape machine helps us build.”