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Title: Investigation of 3DP technology for fabrication of surgical simulation phantoms
Author: Gatto, Matteo
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2011
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The demand for affordable and realistic phantoms for training, in particular for functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS), has continuously increased in recent years. Conventional training methods, such as current physical models, virtual simulators and cadavers may have restrictions, including fidelity, accessibility, cost and ethics. In this investigation, the potential of three-dimensional printing for the manufacture of biologically representative simulation materials for surgery training phantoms has been investigated. A characterisation of sinus anatomical elements was performed through CT and micro-CT scanning of a cadaveric sinus portion. In particular, the relevant constituent tissues of each sinus region have been determined. Secondly, feedback force values experienced during surgical cutting have been quantified with an actual surgical instrument, specifically modified for this purpose. Force values from multiple post-mortem subjects and different areas of the paranasal sinuses have been gathered and used as a benchmark for the optimisation of 3D-printing materials. The research has explored the wide range of properties achievable in 3DP through post-processing methods and variation of printing parameters. For this latter element, a machine-vision system has been developed to monitor the 3DP in real time. The combination of different infiltrants allowed the reproduction of force values comparable to those registered from cadaveric human tissue. The internal characteristics of 3D printed samples were shown to influence their fracture behaviour under resection. Realistic appearance under endoscopic conditions has also been confirmed. The utilisation of some of the research has also been demonstrated in another medical (non-surgical) training application. This investigation highlights a number of capabilities, and also limitations, of 3DP for the manufacturing of representative materials for application in surgical training phantoms.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available