Using three dimensional (3D) computer technology to treat aneurysms

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July 31, 2006 Research by Curtin University of Technology’s Discipline of Medical Imaging is set to help surgeons better treat aortic aneurysms in abdominal arteries by using cutting edge three dimensional (3D) computer technology. The project aims to help vascular surgeons improve their treatment skills by increasing their understanding of the 3D relationship between blood vessels, aneurysms and common treatments such as surgery and stent grafts.

Although 3D stereoscopic visualisation has been applied in many areas, this project is unique as it is exploring how using 3D stereoscopic visualisation can help vascular surgeons in more accurately assessing the results of surgery and the use of stent grafts in treating aneurysms in arteries.

It will also help surgeons in improving stent grafts and using them more confidently - especially in the treatment of complicated abdominal aneurysms.

Dr Sun is working in collaboration with Dr Andrew Squelch of the Curtin Department of Exploration Geophysics - an expert in 3D image processing and visualisation. They are joined by well-known vascular surgeon Dr Michael Lawrence-Brown of the University of Western Australia and industry partner Mr David Hartley of Cook Inc - these two men are already heavily involved in the design of endovascular stent grafts.

The year long collaborative research project by Curtin and Cook Incorporated has been made possible due to funding by iVEC under its Industry Uptake Grant Scheme. iVEC is the WA node of the Australian Partnership for Advanced Computing (APAC), a Federal Government initiative through the Department of Education, Science and Training that promotes the nation-wide development of advanced computing infrastructure supported by research, education and technology diffusion across Australia. iVEC has two high performance computer and visualisation laboratories – at Perth's Technology Park and The University of Western Australia.

The Acting Executive Dean of the Division of Engineering, Science and Computing Professor Jo Ward congratulated Curtin medical imaging expert Dr Zhonghua Sun of the Department of Imaging and Applied Physics on his grant.

Dr Sun holds a PhD from the University of Ulster, UK where he worked and lectured for two and a half years in medical imaging before joining Curtin in May 2005.

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