Soft 3D-Printed Phantom of the Human Kidney with Collecting System

Organ models are used for planning and simulation of operations, developing new surgical instruments, and training purposes. There is a substantial demand for in vitro organ phantoms, especially in urological surgery. Animal models and existing simulator systems poorly mimic the detailed morphology and the physical properties of human organs. In this paper, we report a novel fabrication process to make a human kidney phantom with realistic anatomical structures and physical properties. The detailed anatomical structure was directly acquired from high resolution CT data sets of human cadaveric kidneys. The soft phantoms were constructed using a novel technique that combines 3D wax printing and polymer molding. Anatomical details and material properties of the phantoms were validated in detail by CT scan, ultrasound, and endoscopy. CT reconstruction, ultrasound examination, and endoscopy showed that the designed phantom mimics a real kidney’s detailed anatomy and correctly corresponds to the targeted human cadaver’s upper urinary tract. Soft materials with a tensile modulus of 0.8–1.5 MPa as well as biocompatible hydrogels were used to mimic human kidney tissues. We developed a method of constructing 3D organ models from medical imaging data using a 3D wax printing and molding process. This method is cost-effective means for obtaining a reproducible and robust model suitable for surgical simulation and training purposes.

(Ann. Biomed. Eng. doi:10.1007/s10439-016-1757-5 (2016).)


This minireview discusses whether catalytically active macromolecules and abiotic nanocolloids, that are smaller than motile bacteria, can self-propel. Kinematic reversibility at low Reynolds number demands that self-propelling colloids must break symmetry. Methods that permit the synthesis and fabrication of Janus nanocolloids are therefore briefly surveyed, as well as means that permit the analysis of the nanocolloids’ motion. Finally, recent work is reviewed which shows that nanoagents are small enough to penetrate the complex inhomogeneous polymeric network of biological fluids and gels, which exhibit diverse rheological behaviors.

(Eur. Phys. J. Spec. Top. (2016) 225: 2241.)

Wireless actuation with functional acoustic surfaces

Miniaturization calls for micro-actuators that can be powered wirelessly and addressed individually. Here, we develop functional surfaces consisting of arrays of acoustically resonant micro-cavities, and we demonstrate their application as two-dimensional wireless actuators. When remotely powered by an acoustic field, the surfaces provide highly directional propulsive forces in fluids through acoustic streaming. A maximal force of ∼0.45 mN is measured on a 4 × 4 mm2 functional surface. The response of the surfaces with bubbles of different sizes is characterized experimentally. This shows a marked peak around the micro-bubbles' resonance frequency, as estimated by both an analytical model and numerical simulations. The strong frequency dependence can be exploited to address different surfaces with different acoustic frequencies, thus achieving wireless actuation with multiple degrees of freedom. The use of the functional surfaces as wireless ready-to-attach actuators is demonstrated by implementing a wireless and bidirectional miniaturized rotary motor, which is 2.6 × 2.6 × 5 mm3 in size and generates a stall torque of ∼0.5 mN·mm. The adoption of micro-structured surfaces as wireless actuators opens new possibilities in the development of miniaturized devices and tools for fluidic environments that are accessible by low intensity ultrasound fields.

(Appl. Phys. Lett. 109, 191602 (2016))

Änderung 04.04.2017

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