Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) can be defined as a permanent and irreversible dilation of the infrarenal aorta. AAAs are often considered to be an aorta with a diameter 1.5 times the normal infrarenal aorta diameter. This paper describes a technique to manufacture realistic silicone AAA models for use with experimental studies. This paper is concerned with the reconstruction and manufacturing process of patient-specific AAAs. 3D reconstruction from computed tomography scan data allows the AAA to be created. Mould sets are then designed for these AAA models utilizing computer aided designcomputer aided manufacture techniques and combined with the injection-moulding method. Silicone rubber forms the basis of the resulting AAA model. Assessment of wall thickness and overall percentage difference from the final silicone model to that of the computer-generated model was performed. In these realistic AAA models, wall thickness was found to vary by an average of 9.21%. The percentage difference in wall thickness recorded can be attributed to the contraction of the casting wax and the expansion of the silicone during model manufacture. This method may be used in conjunction with wall stress studies using the photoelastic method or in fluid dynamic studies using a laser-Doppler anemometry. In conclusion, these patient-specific rubber AAA models can be used in experimental investigations, but should be assessed for wall thickness variability once manufactured.
University of Limerick ->