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3D Printed Model of Extrahepatic Biliary Ducts for Biliary Stent Testing

1
Biomedical Engineering Department, Mercer University, Macon, GA 31207, USA
2
Chemistry Department, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL 61455, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2020, 13(21), 4788; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13214788
Received: 27 September 2020 / Revised: 20 October 2020 / Accepted: 23 October 2020 / Published: 27 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 3D Printing in Medicine and Biomedical Engineering)
Several inflammatory conditions of the bile ducts cause strictures that prevent the drainage of bile into the gastrointestinal tract. Non-pharmacological treatments to re-establish bile flow include plastic or self-expanding metal stents (SEMs) that are inserted in the bile ducts during endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) procedures. The focus of this study was to 3D print an anatomically accurate model of the extrahepatic bile ducts (EHBDs) with tissue-like mechanical properties to improve in vitro testing of stent prototypes. Following generation of an EHBD model via computer aided design (CAD), we tested the ability of Formlabs SLA 3D printers to precisely print the model with polymers selected based on the desired mechanical properties. We found the printers were reliable in printing the dimensionally accurate EHBD model with candidate polymers. Next, we evaluated the mechanical properties of Formlabs Elastic (FE), Flexible (FF), and Durable (FD) resins pre- and post-exposure to water, saline, or bile acid solution at 37 °C for up to one week. FE possessed the most bile duct-like mechanical properties based on its elastic moduli, percent elongations at break, and changes in mass under all liquid exposure conditions. EHBD models printed in FE sustained no functional damage during biliary stent deployment or when tube connectors were inserted, and provided a high level of visualization of deployed stents. These results demonstrate that our 3D printed EHBD model facilitates more realistic pre-clinical in vitro testing of biliary stent prototypes. View Full-Text
Keywords: extrahepatic bile ducts; 3D printing; in vitro testing; mechanical properties; biliary stents extrahepatic bile ducts; 3D printing; in vitro testing; mechanical properties; biliary stents
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MDPI and ACS Style

Thomas, J.; Patel, S.; Troop, L.; Guru, R.; Faist, N.; Bellott, B.J.; Esterlen, B.A. 3D Printed Model of Extrahepatic Biliary Ducts for Biliary Stent Testing. Materials 2020, 13, 4788. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13214788

AMA Style

Thomas J, Patel S, Troop L, Guru R, Faist N, Bellott BJ, Esterlen BA. 3D Printed Model of Extrahepatic Biliary Ducts for Biliary Stent Testing. Materials. 2020; 13(21):4788. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13214788

Chicago/Turabian Style

Thomas, Joanna; Patel, Sagar; Troop, Leia; Guru, Robyn; Faist, Nicholas; Bellott, Brian J.; Esterlen, Bethany A. 2020. "3D Printed Model of Extrahepatic Biliary Ducts for Biliary Stent Testing" Materials 13, no. 21: 4788. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13214788

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