Javan R, Zeman M. A prototype educational model for hepatobiliary interventions: unveiling the role of graphic designers in medical 3D printing. Journal of Digital Imaging. 2018,31:133


In the context of medical three-dimensional (3D) printing, in addition to 3D reconstruction from cross-sectional imaging, graphic design plays a role in developing and/or enhancing 3D-printed models. A custom prototype modular 3D model of the liver was graphically designed depicting segmental anatomy of the parenchyma containing color-coded hepatic vasculature and biliary tree. Subsequently, 3D printing was performed using transparent resin for the surface of the liver and polyamide material to develop hollow internal structures that allow for passage of catheters and wires. A number of concepts were incorporated into the model. A representative mass with surrounding feeding arterial supply was embedded to demonstrate tumor embolization. A straight narrow hollow tract connecting the mass to the surface of the liver, displaying the path of a biopsy device’s needle, and the concept of needle “throw” length was designed. A connection between the middle hepatic and right portal veins was created to demonstrate transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) placement. A hollow amorphous structure representing an abscess was created to allow the demonstration of drainage catheter placement with the formation of pigtail tip. Percutaneous biliary drain and cholecystostomy tube placement were also represented. The skills of graphic designers may be utilized in creating highly customized 3D-printed models. A model was developed for the demonstration and simulation of multiple hepatobiliary interventions, for training purposes, patient counseling and consenting, and as a prototype for future development of a functioning interventional phantom.

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