Multi-material 3D printing for percutaneous surgical drains
A Percutaneous drain is a medical catheter used by Interventional radiologists to drain abscesses or cysts within the human body. The purpose of drainage is to reduce the need for open surgery, decreasing infections and recovery time. Percutaneous drains were initially designed for irrigation, not drainage; a contributing factor to the current 50% procedural fail rate. Alongside; clogging, kinking and infection.
The focus of the project is to mitigate failure with a fundamental redesign of the percutaneous drain, utilising a multidisciplinary research team from various organisations that work in conjunction to address this Issue.
This thesis, while a component of a more significant study, asks the question, ‘how can design research and multi-material 3D printing, provide innovative insights to improve the clinical performance of percutaneous drains?’
Three elements of the overall drainage procedure are focused on; the efficiency of the drains drainage, the insertion and removal procedure, and simulated anatomy models to provide context to each design. These are explored using multi-material 3D printing as a design tool to investigate new geometries, material combinations and dynamic qualities. Multi-material 3D printing is a design enabler which produces fast and accurate prototypes to explore ideas and communicate intentions to the research team.
The overall aim of this thesis project is to work alongside healthcare professionals cohesively, to develop novel drainage catheter prototypes. This aim will be achieved by utilising multi-material 3D printing for communication, discussion, rapid prototyping, and development. The primary outputs are innovative designs concepts for percutaneous drains, in the form of CAD files and 3D printed prototypes; while the written thesis documents research outcomes, outputs and process