Abstract 15416: A New Method of Manufacturing Rubber-like Flexible Biomodels of Congenital Heart Disease in Combination of Stereolithography and Vacuum Casting
Introduction: Stereolithography is a rapid prototype technology whereby an ultraviolet laser beam selectively polymerizes and solidifies photosensitive and polymeric liquid plastic. By using this technique, 3D volumetric image data of multi-slice CT can be converted into plastic models that enhance our spatial perception of real-life anatomy and pathology. However, the materials of the stereolithography are restricted to plastic or urethane, which are not satisfactory for simulation surgery. Recently, a vacuum casting method has been developed in rapid prototype industries, where more delicate models with different stiff materials can be manufactured.
Hypothesis: We assessed the hypothesis that the vacuum casting in association with stereolithography improves the quality of biomodels in congenital heart disease to be able to simulate realistic surgical operation.
Methods: Three-dimensional volumetric data sets of MSCT angiography were converted into standard triangulated language (STL) files to guide the laser beam of stereolithography. Biomodels representing the both outer and inner surface of the heart tissues were initially made with stereolithography (Figure, left panel, inner cast). Then, silicon rubber with different stiffness was injected by using the vacuum casing method. After solidification of the silicon materials, the casts were carefully removed (Figure, right panel).
Results and Conclusion: The vacuum casting in association with stereolithography enabled us to manufacture replicas with similar texture of the real heart. This technique also allowed the surgeon to cut and suture, facilitating the simulation of the surgical operation. In conclusion, the vacuum casting in association with stereolithography is a promising technique for the preoperative practice and simulation of individual surgery, and planning of novel and innovative surgical procedures of congenital heart disease.
- © 2010 by American Heart Association, Inc.