Beatrice Bisighini, ESR 03 of the MeDiTATe project, published the paper Fabrication of Compliant and Transparent Hollow Cerebral Vascular Phantoms for In Vitro Studies Using 3D Printing and Spin–Dip Coating in the Materials journal by MDPI.

The paper, developed in collaboration with Pierluigi Di Giovanni (HSL), Alba Scerrati (University of Ferrara), Federica Trovalusci and Silvia Vesco (University of Rome “Tor Vergata”), is available on the MDPI website at this link.

Here follows the publication’s abstract.

Endovascular surgery through flow diverters and coils is increasingly used for the minimally invasive treatment of intracranial aneurysms. To study the effectiveness of these devices, in vitro tests are performed in which synthetic vascular phantoms are typically used to reproduce in vivo conditions. In this paper, we propose a manufacturing process to obtain compliant and transparent hollow vessel replicas to assess the mechanical behaviour of endovascular devices and perform flow measurements. The vessel models were obtained in three main steps. First, a mould was 3D-printed in a water-soluble material; two techniques, fusion deposition modelling and stereolithography, were compared for this purpose. Then, the mould was covered with a thin layer of silicone through spin–dip coating, and finally, when the silicone layer solidified, it was dissolved in a hot water bath. The final models were tested in terms of the quality of the final results, the mechanical properties of the silicone, thickness uniformity, and transparency properties. The proposed approach makes it possible to produce models of different sizes and complexity whose transparency and mechanical properties are suitable for in vitro experiments. Its applicability is demonstrated through idealised and patient-specific cases.