Virtual Insertion of Tracheostomy Tube

to improve breathing assistance

Created on 2017.05.11 207 views
  • I inhaled, and exhaled. Clicking on F3, I rotated the trachea model in the ABAQUS interface, and I breathed out a sigh of relief...  
  • Virtually simulating the tracheotomy procedure to exert pressure loading on a trachea through the cuff inflation of a tracheostomy tube, with Holzapfel-Gasser-Ogden material model incorporated in the soft tissue in trachea... Uh huh, yup, it's no easy task explaining what I do (especially in a loud bar, "Tracheostomyyy!" "Huh, what?!" "Trachea. Breathinggg!" "Uh..."), but the trouble in explanation is nothing in comparison to the intricacy of the modelling of a trachea, which requires extensive literature survey, iterative experiments, a good book to fill my time while I start my 5 hour-long wait, to be disappointed with numerous "aborted simulations" 5 hours later, an amazing supervisor, last but not least, a superior computational modelling tool.   
  • ABAQUS is used to conduct FEA on various geometrical models of trachea, to assess the stress patterns in a virtual tracheotomy.Tracheostomy is a surgical procedure to insert an oxygen-supplying tube, known as the tracheostomy tube. A common procedure, it is done on patients with pathologies in the throat, soundbox, and or, trachea to provide breathing assistance. Presently, efforts into modelling the trachea to study cough mechanisms, or stent insertion has been carried out, however little or no scarce research has been carried out to characterise the resulting stress patterns on a trachea due to the insertion of a tracheostomy tube, let alone incorporating a hyperelastic material model instead of linear material models extensively used for cartilages in current practices. A C3D10 mesh amounting to 111885 elements is used. The outcome of this project was the characterisation of stress experienced by various trachea geometrical models of varying levels of refinement, enabling the prediction of stress impacts due to clinical cuff pressure inflation. Outcome will be used to develop a pre-operative surgical mechanism for anaesthetists, mitigate discomfort, ultimately, the prevention of fatal side effects due to surgery.  
  • Above is a peek at the simulation of pressure loading and the resulting VM stress and deformation experienced by the model. Do let me know if you would like to learn more about my project. If you'd like some quick tips/advice on using ABAQUS for FEA and want to avoid posting questions on forums and chancing on a great reply, I would be glad to share at  
  • ...I breathed out a sigh of relief, as I ran my final simulation, thankful that I can breathe, and thankful for my participation to help others breathe. I breathe out a sigh of relief, as in my short time of using this program, I am exposed to myriad possibilities of extensive outcomes ABAQUS promises, from simulating car crashes, steel structures or wave analysis - saving many lives. 
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