Development of three-dimensional hollow elastic model for cerebral aneurysm clipping simulation enabling rapid and low cost prototyping

World Neurosurg. 2015 Mar;83(3):351-61. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2013.10.032. Epub 2013 Oct 16.


Objective: We developed a method for fabricating a three-dimensional hollow and elastic aneurysm model useful for surgical simulation and surgical training. In this article, we explain the hollow elastic model prototyping method and report on the effects of applying it to presurgical simulation and surgical training.

Methods: A three-dimensional printer using acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene as a modeling material was used to produce a vessel model. The prototype was then coated with liquid silicone. After the silicone had hardened, the acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene was melted with xylene and removed, leaving an outer layer as a hollow elastic model.

Results: Simulations using the hollow elastic model were performed in 12 patients. In all patients, the clipping proceeded as scheduled. The surgeon's postoperative assessment was favorable in all cases. This method enables easy fabrication at low cost.

Conclusion: Simulation using the hollow elastic model is thought to be useful for understanding of three-dimensional aneurysm structure.

Keywords: 3D model; 3D printing; Cerebral aneurysm; Clipping; Rapid prototyping; Surgical simulation; Surgical training.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Computer Graphics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / pathology*
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Middle Cerebral Artery / pathology
  • Models, Anatomic*
  • Neuronavigation / methods
  • Neurosurgery / education*
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods*
  • Printing, Three-Dimensional