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A biofabricated surgical referral suite to predict intracranial aneurysm rupture

Study level

Master of Philosophy

Honours

Faculty/Lead unit

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.

Supervisors

Dr Mark Allenby
Position
Postdoctoral Research Fellow (AQF)
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Professor Zhiyong Li
Position
Professor
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Professor Mia Woodruff
Position
Professor
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty

Overview

Intracranial aneurysms are bulging, weak areas of an artery that supply blood to the brain which are relatively common. While most aneurysms do not show symptoms, 1% spontaneously rupture which can be fatal or it can leave the survivor with permanent disabilities. This catastrophic outcome has motivated surgeons to operate on approximately 30% of aneurysms despite their rate of complications arising and cost of operation.

The impact of aneurysm morphology on blood flow shear stress and rupture could educate surgical decision-making and better identify at-risk aneurysms for either endovascular or neurosurgical procedures.

In this project, medical image datasets of patients admitted with intracranial aneurysms will be leveraged to produce digital and physical aneurysm models using medical image analysis, computational and experimental fluid dynamics, and 3D printing. These models will identify at-risk aneurysmal features leading to an automated referral software to guide clinical decision making.

Research activities

This project will develop the your skills in computational and experimental technologies. These skills are useful in a wide breadth of manufacturing industries.

You will be involved in:

  • a literature review of current pathology, surgical treatment and research approaches
  • medical DICOM-image reconstruction (MRI, CT) using Materialise MIMICS and MATLAB
  • computational fluid dynamics/mechanics simulation using Amira
  • computer-aided design of surgical models and devices using ANSYS AutoCAD
  • 3D printing of vascular models for surgical diagnosis or experimental fluid perfusion studies.

You will be working with a talented team across the Biofabrication and Tissue Morphology group, Cardiovascular Engineering group and Herston Biofabrication Institute. This team includes physicists, engineers, mathematicians, biologists and the clinicians who are operating on the patients.

You will be able to attend surgeries and consultations and will be expected to attend lab group meetings once per week alongside full time research.

Outcomes

This project has already been granted ethical approval and has access to dozens of patient medical records.

The aim of this project is to:

  • develop a medical image 3D reconstruction procedure
  • 3D print vascular models which are visually transparent at high resolution and deformable with a realistic, surgical feel
  • develop a computational and/or experimental fluid dynamics pipeline to simulate blood flow through and around aneurysms
  • correlate fluid dynamics outcomes with at-risk imaged aneurysm features
  • validate at-risk aneurysm features with new medical image cases

Skills and experience

To be considered for this project, you need to have completed or be completing a degree in an engineering, computational or physics discipline.

Relevant computational experience (eg. AutoCAD, MIMICS, Amira, MATLAB) is useful, but not required.

Keywords

Contact

Contact Dr Mark Allenby for more information.