Physical Model for Investigating Intracranial Pressure with Clinical Pressure Sensors and Diagnostic Ultrasound: Preliminary Results

von Barm R, Tejada IM, Juhler M, Andresen M & Wilhjelm JE


Intracranial pressure (ICP) is a commonly collected neurocritical parameter, but accurate signal modelling remains challenging. The goal of this project was to mimic clinical ICP waveforms using a physical model.

Materials and methods

A physical head model was developed. The skull was segmented from a head computed tomography (CT) scan, remodelled, 3D-printed, and filled with a brain tissue mimicking material and a pressure generator. Pressure measurements and tissue displacement around an attached pressure sensor were explored.


Analysis of the measured pressure demonstrated that the waveform did not perfectly resemble that of the clinical ICP. Through iterative improvements and using a revised second pressure generator, subpeaks could be seen in the waveform. A speckle image recorded using ultrasound during pressure application enabled visualization of tissue displacement around the pressure sensor. Comparison with measured ICP signals revealed that minuscule patterns were not distinct in the displacement images.


We present the first steps towards mimicking clinical ICP using a physical head phantom model. The physical model enabled pressure tests and visualization of tissue displacement and will be foundational for further improvements.

Read the full paper in Acta Neurochir Suppl (click here).