Experiments in Fluids

, 58:154 | Cite as

Particle image velocimetry measurements in an anatomical vascular model fabricated using inkjet 3D printing

  • Kenneth I. Aycock
  • Prasanna Hariharan
  • Brent A. Craven


For decades, the study of biomedical fluid dynamics using optical flow visualization and measurement techniques has been limited by the inability to fabricate transparent physical models that realistically replicate the complex morphology of biological lumens. In this study, we present an approach for producing optically transparent anatomical models that are suitable for particle image velocimetry (PIV) using a common 3D inkjet printing process (PolyJet) and stock resin (VeroClear). By matching the index of refraction of the VeroClear material using a room-temperature mixture of water, sodium iodide, and glycerol, and by printing the part in an orientation such that the flat, optical surfaces are at an approximately 45\(^{\circ }\) angle to the build plane, we overcome the challenges associated with using this 3D printing technique for PIV. Here, we summarize our methodology and demonstrate the process and the resultant PIV measurements of flow in an optically transparent anatomical model of the human inferior vena cava.



The authors thank Gonzalo Mendoza from the Additive Manufacturing of Medical Products (AMMP) laboratory at the United States Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA) for printing the anatomical model and H. Steven Fatzinger at the Penn State Artificial Heart Laboratory for measuring the IOR of the index-matching fluid. We also thank Andrew Baumann, Keefe Manning, Robert Campbell, Michael Lawson, Mark Jaster, Bruce Fleharty, Randolph Bidinger, Frederick Jordan, and Christopher Rumple for helpful discussions. This study was funded by the U.S. FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) Critical Path program. The research was supported in part by an appointment to the Research Participation Program at the U.S. FDA administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education through an interagency agreement between the U.S. Department of Energy and FDA. The findings and conclusions in this article have not been formally disseminated by the U.S. FDA and should not be construed to represent any agency determination or policy. The mention of commercial products, their sources, or their use in connection with material reported herein is not to be construed as either an actual or implied endorsement of such products by the Department of Health and Human Services.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany (outside the USA) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Applied Mechanics, Office of Science and Engineering Laboratories, Center for Radiological Devices and HealthUnited States Food and Drug AdministrationSilver SpringUSA

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