Student working on a research project.

Modelling Of Corronary Disease Using 3D Printed Models

Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography (CCTA) contrast opacification gradients and (Fractional Flow Reserve) FFR-CT estimation can aid in the severity estimation of significant atherosclerotic lesions. Following this trend, we recently developed a software to estimate such measurements in patient undergoing CT scanning. We 3D-printed patient specific coronary phantoms at Gates Vascular Institute(GVI) and scanned them with a Toshiba Aquilion scanner to test several aspects of the contrast opacification gradients. Our initial results showed strong correlation between the flow in the phantom and opacification gradients. We believe that this approach could be further developed to test and validate FFR-CT algorithms. Currently, FFR-CT algorithms can only be optimized using theoretical models and can only be validated in large multi-center clinical trials. The phantom approach we plan to implement, would allow optimization of FFR-CT algorithms with a measured validation technique without the need for large clinical trials. Thus we believe that this study will result in a FFR-CT algorithm/method with a better predictability for arterial lesion severity than those existing on the market today. Our approach is to use the infrastructure at GVI to perform a detailed validation of the FFR-CT method using 3D printed patient specific phantoms. Each patient will have four 3D phantoms printed (four cardiac phases), containing the culprit lesion and used in a benchtop flow analysis. Flow measurements will be compared with: CT-FFR for both patients and phantoms, angio lab FFR measurements and 30 days follow-up. This pilot clinical study will include ~50 patients over a year and half at GVI. We are confident that this approach performed via 3D-phantom testing will prove the validity of FFR-CT based measurements as well as develop a new standard for validating FFR-CT algorithms. The students involved will aid in the phantom design, manufacturing and flow testing.

Research Project Information

Disciplines: biomedical engineering
Student Skill-Set Needed: 3D printing, CFD, 3D imaging
Compensation: Academic Credit, Volunteer
Available: Fall, Spring, Summer


For further information on this opportunity, or to apply, contact:

Faculty Member: Ciprian N Ionita
Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Biomedical Engineering
Office: 8052 CTRC
Phone: 716 829 5413