Ruptured brain aneurysms are fatal in about 50% of cases, according to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, and surgery to repair ruptures is complex and time-consuming. So, it’s crucial when physicians identify an unruptured aneurysm to treat it quickly and effectively. That’s where Biomodex, a French-American digital health company, and its 3D-printed “anatomical twins” of patients’ aneurysms can help.
To start the process, the physician simply uploads a patient’s anonymized diagnostic and imaging information (CTA scan or 3D angiogram) to Biomodex through a HIPAA-compliant portal. The electronic files undergo a specific segmentation, and a proprietary biomechanical algorithm is applied to generate an anatomically accurate, 3D-printed model of the patient’s aneurysm, an “anatomical twin.” Then the 3D-printed model is shipped to the physician.
The entire process takes less than five days. As the model precisely replicates the patient’s unique brain vasculature and mimics the mechanics of living tissue, the physician can use it to rehearse the procedure before treating the patient. To achieve this, the 3D-printed model is loaded into a proprietary station mimicking blood flow and fluoroscopic conditions.
“It was extremely easy to use, and it felt very much like a situation in real life,” said Demetrius Lopes, MD, Director, Advocate Health stroke team. “I was really impressed with the images that we were able to obtain and with the ability to simulate the vessels as I was navigating the complex anatomy. Everything was excellent and pretty much what I expected it to be to prepare me for my case in the best way possible.”
In fact, Lopes predicts that 3D-printed “anatomical twins” will quickly become the go-to option for preparing physicians to perform complex procedures. “The experience is so valuable before you do the procedure that these solutions will likely become a universal standard,” he said. “You will do your case [diagnostics] and then you will rehearse the procedure before you do the intervention.”
“Our vision is to revolutionize pre-operative planning, resulting in safer medical procedures and improved patient outcomes,” Biomodex CEO Ziad Rouag said. “Working together with medical device and imaging companies, as well as pioneering physicians, we believe we can positively impact device training, clinical trial support and patient- specific rehearsal. For example, we are honored to have been chosen multiple times to print cases before first-in-man [Phase 1 clinical trial] procedures. The technology is evolving, as is our future, as we continue to expand our areas of support.”