Liver Disease Sampler

Six treatment discussions in one model

The Challenge:

This client needed a liver model exhibiting defects for HCPs to practice applying hemostasis products to several typical clinical scenarios, including a resected portion, a laceration, and a puncture. We created a Liver Sampler Model to educate Health Care Professionals (HCP) on the safe and efficacious use of hemostats to treat continuous oozing, re-bleeding and problematic bleeding. 


Before starting any project, we ask our clients for their “nice to haves” vs. “must haves” so we can include any “nice to have” that do not add cost to the development. This client’s “nice to have” feature was the addition of lesions to be visualized with ultrasound for targeting and microwave ablation demonstrations. After including all of their “must haves” we found a way to include their “nice to haves” while staying in budget.  


The client shared their reason for hiring Pulse, “It is very difficult to ship actual tissue to HCPs homes. A custom-made model will make it easier to educate them about the current pandemic situation. We can’t provide real tissue to them. HCPs will learn what is the correct product to use on different defects in a liver.” 


Model Design:  

Pulse delved into the root of the client’s challenge and discovered it was beneficial for their client’s clinical trainers to show complications outside of bleeding and lesions, fatty and cirrhotic liver pathologies. When faced with multiple disease states, Pulse MDM does what we always do, design a pathology sampler, of course.  We created a 3-piece liver, the left portion representing the fatty liver, the center portion being cirrhotic, and the right portion having hidden lesions that are only detectable by ultrasound. The lesions are planned to be penetrated by a probe, so over time it will require the replacement of just that portion of the model. 


Model Development:  

We faced two challenges during model development: determining the exact color of the fatty liver and realizing all ultrasound equipment is not the same.  


When it came to figuring out the liver color, the problem was not achieving the right color, but understanding what was the exact color of a fatty liver. We settled on beigey-yellow. The second issue was trickier: our shop ultrasound unit produced different results than the client’s hospital unit, which produced different results from the portable units our client purchased for their team to take on the road. Once we figured that out, the execution was easy.  We have 35 years of model-making experience under our belt and are confident we can overcome almost any challenge.  


Model Solution:  

Our soft three-piece liver includes snap features to easily remove the lesion portion for replacement.  The model sits on a branded base that creates a professional presentation while providing anatomical context.  The lower left portion of the fatty liver is resected and includes a puncture.  A laceration on the cirrhotic portion serves to replicate a defect on a rough area.  There are several lesions of varying sizes and shapes on the right.  All these pathologies provide a platform for HCPs to learn which situations to use our client’s biosurgery products, and our client’s main goal was to help customers learn which product to use in each situation. The client is now able to meet specific customer needs that specialize in liver (HPB) surgery. 


Procedure Overview: 

Microwave ablation is a heat-based thermal ablation modality that can treat hepatic malignancies. Microwaves can generate very high temperatures in very short periods, potentially leading to improved treatment efficiency and larger ablation zones. With microwave ablation, the surgeon inserts a small laparoscopic port or open incision to access the tumor. A CT scan or ultrasonic guidance is used to pinpoint the location of the tumor. A probe that emits microwaves is then inserted into the tumor. The probe produces intense heat that ablates (destroys) tumor tissue, often within 10 minutes. Microwave ablation has a number of advantages when compared to traditional radio frequency ablation including the following:  

  1. Speed - Microwave ablation is faster than radio-frequency ablation, destroying tumors more efficiently, and reducing the time patients remain under general anesthesia.  
  2. Simultaneous tumor ablation - With microwave ablation, surgeons can ablate multiple liver tumors at the same time.  
  3. Target larger tumors - microwave ablation can ablate larger tumors than possible with radiofrequency ablation. 


Microwave Ablation of Hepatic Malignancy 

This custom model is not available for sale to the public. BUT, we can make you a version that is specific to your unique medical device and procedure. Please use this link to start the process of receiving a free model concept.