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Design and development of low-cost tissue replicas for simulation of rare neonatal congenital defects.

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Center for Education in Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University.


Studies have shown that simulation can be a valuable tool for training pediatric surgeons to perform thoracoscopic repair of rare congenital anomalies [1-3]. The previously evaluated models were high fidelity, hybrid models that required the use of fetal bovine or porcine tissue blocks within a simulated neonate chest cavity. Real tissue blocks can be expensive, and may not be readily available in some parts of the world. We have developed low-cost, portable simulators for esophageal atresia with tracheoesophageal fistula (EA/TEF) and duodenal atresia (DA) that recreate the 3-dimensional challenges for minimally invasive repair. These are fully simulated models of the thoracic and abdominal cavities containing synthetic tissue that replicates the required anatomy.

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