The project ENSEMBLE encompasses the development of a scalable and magnetic resonance-compatible cardiovascular system model. This closed-loop system shall be available as a self-contained trainings module, allowing the practicing of multiple surgical procedures, e.g. catheter-based operations. Using the developed model, future surgeons will be able to simulate realistic operations, so they can develop and expand their cognitive and motoric skills during the course of multiple practice sessions.
In order to present a trainings model, which is as realistic as possible, a pump, an artificial blood vessel tree and a blood-like fluid will be combined with auxiliary components. The developed system will allow for a simulated blood circulation, so that it will be possible to create an artificial operating situation, which immerses the trainee as best as possible. The deployed pump will be able to measure pressure, recognize changes in the pressure curve and adjust its regulation parameters automatically. Furthermore, it will be small, adaptable and powerful enough to drive the fluid inside of the circulatory system. This branched system will be composed of single arteries, capillaries and veins with additional valves, whose layout will be developed by an automatic segmentation algorithm. The permeability, thickness, elasticity and diameters of the artificial vessels will be comparable to their real counterparts. That way, the model shall provide a realistic reaction, when surgeons practice cuts or sutures with their instruments on it. The blood-like fluid, that the model is filled with, will possess a viscosity which shall be displayable to the user as well as adjustable to use-case-specific requirements.