A procedure for manufacturing cardiovascular system models using patient-specific data, rapid prototyping, and a multistep dip-spin coating process is presented here. Improvements to a previously developed process permitted the fabrication of flexible complex vascular replicas. The primary improvement included the development of a two-axis rotation mechanism that enabled a pseudorandom rotation of the coated mold in space, providing uniform coats. Other improvements included the use of a low viscosity (15002000cP) silicone solution that allowed for complete coverage of the mold, and developing a procedure for fixing defects. The dip-spin coating procedure was shown to be effective for the manufacture of compliant cardiovascular membranes, such as an arterial bypass graft with an internal flow passage and an abdominal aorta with nonuniform radial geometry, tapered diameters, bifurcations, and small branches. Results from a design of experiments comparing two dipping setups demonstrated that horizontally dipping the model produced coatings with more uniform thicknesses along the length of the model when compared to vertical dipping. For a 250-mm-long model, the difference in thickness between the top and bottom of the membrane was 0.42±0.069mm and 0.09±0.077mm for vertical and horizontal dippings, respectively. Mold diameter also affected the thickness of the membrane, with membrane thickness increasing as mold diameter decreased. Thickness data comparing locations at approximately the same height of the mold but with different diameters showed thicknesses of 2.54±0.198mm and 1.95±0.140mm for 7.85mm and 15.20mm diameters, respectively. Moreover, the differences in thickness between these locations were 0.60±0.128mm and 0.58±0.231mm for vertical and horizontal dippings, respectively; thus, membrane thickness variations occurred with mold diameter irrespective of the dipping setup. Depending on the prescribed tolerance for membrane thickness, the vertical dipping setup may be recommended for use because (1) it was easier to use since only the mold was immersed in the coating solution and no special protection of the dipping mechanism was required and (2) it produced fewer defects in the coatings since the solution always dripped from downfacing surfaces of the mold. Using this dip-spin coating procedure, patient-specific cardiovascular membranes can be manufactured and used in the development of medical devices, research requiring accurate anatomical models, and education and training.

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