Vena Cava 3D Prints


Project status: Active


These prints are in support of a project that has been on-going at Duke for the development of an intravascular oxygenation catheter, which would oxygenate blood directly in patients regardless of lung function. This would give doctors a new tool to help support patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Currently the only treatment when a ventilator is not enough is extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), which is highly invasive life support. This catheter would be less invasive, more portable, and have potential to be more widely available in hospitals that cannot support ECMOs extensive training and personnel requirements in the hospitals. 

These prints are helping create both early prototypes as well as laboratory fixtures for testing. The mesh spacers in particular were instrumental in creating the team's first full-scale prototypes of the catheter, and have been used in whole pig blood in the lab, as well as in ex-vivo large animal testing here at Duke. Ongoing work is leveraging Bluesmith now to create more anatomically correct bench scale experiments, and refined prototypes. This work was primarily done under a Duke Coulter Grant, which has allowed the team to secure a BARDA contract for 2023 to create the next generation of prototypes for in-vivo animal testing in 2024. 

Two publications have been made on this work (previous not yet including these full-sized prototypes). The first paper can be found here.

Image of 3d printed parts


Co-Lab Pro Project