3D printers help neuroradiologists

The treatment of cerebral aneurysms is often very complex and initially it is not always obvious which type of treatment is best suited for an individual case. In October, during the Annual Congress of the German Society for Neuroradiology e.V., a working group from Hamburg introduced a procedure that enables the production of exact copies of individual aneurysms with a 3D printer.

Various aneurysm models with tubing connections fabricated using Fused...
Various aneurysm models with tubing connections fabricated using Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM).
Source: Source: TU Hamburg-Harburg

These are then used to investigate which treatment is likely to be the most promising. Following this, complicated interventions can also be trialled on the model. The procedure for the development of models of aneurysms with the 3D printer was developed at the Research Centre for Medical Technology, in Hamburg, led by Professor D Krause of Hamburg University of Technology, in Hamburg-Harburg, and Professor J Fiehler from the Clinic and Polyclinic for Neuroradiological Diagnostics and Intervention at the University Medical Centre, Hamburg.

‘As it turned out, the procedure enables the creation of a replica of an individual cerebral aneurysm from a specific patient that is cost-effective and true to the original and contributes to individual treatment planning,’ Fiehler said. ‘The models can be utilised to decide which type of intervention should be considered, because they also facilitate a simulation of the aneurysm blood flow dynamics.

‘Furthermore, the precise placement of a platinum coil, for instance, can be simulated and thereby optimised – and ultimately one can run through the entire intervention to be carried out.’

The models are also suitable for testing new medical devices. In Hamburg the 3D models are already used in treatment planning for difficult aneurysms. physician Professor. Fiehler hopes that, in just a few years’ time, all patients with complicated aneurysms will benefit from the innovation.


Read all latest stories

Related articles


‘Mini-Brains’: Evidence of Zika’s toll on fetal cortex

Studying a new type of pinhead-size, lab-grown brain made with technology first suggested by three high school students, Johns Hopkins researchers have confirmed a key way in which Zika virus causes…


Tissue construct

A 'swift' way to 3D-print organs

Twenty people die every day waiting for an organ transplant in the U.S., and while more than 30,000 patients now receive transplants annually, another 113,000 are currently on organ waitlists. Many…


Let it grow

3D printed templates for bone implants made of salt

With the help of a 3D printed salt template, ETH researchers from ETH Zurich have succeeded in producing magnesium scaffolds with structured porosity that are suitable for bioresorbable bone…

Related products