I am a final year veterinary medicine student studying at the RVC and as part of my degree I needed to write a research project. My project was focusing on the ‘Development of a 3D printed calf head model to assess dispersal of intranasal vaccine application.’
Understanding the dispersal pattern of an intranasal vaccine could potentially help formulate better vaccines and applicators in the future. A 3-Dimensional printed model (3DPM) of a calf head was used to investigate the dispersal pattern instead of an in vivo specimen because of the practical, ethical, and financial considerations.
The 3DPM was sprayed within tranasal iodinated vaccine at different head elevations (horizontal, 45° and vertical). The dispersal pattern was viewed under CT scanning. These dispersal patterns were then confirmed against spraying intranasal vaccination in a cadaver head at horizontal/45° elevations. The vaccine deposition was very rostral at the horizontal angle with minimal caudal dispersion. At the 45° and vertical angle the vaccine was found sporadically caudally with small amounts rostrally, including visible leakage out of the model’s nasopharyngeal hole. This study found that a 3DPM can be an accurate anatomical replica when using semi-automatic segmentation and that head position affects vaccine deposition, but further research needs to be undergone before our results can be extrapolated to the wider population. Prospective studies should be done to further evaluate the parameters that affect the vaccine dispersal pattern in calves.
The AVTRW Golden Jubilee award helped me to finance this project and allowed me to present the developments at the AVTRW annual conference. The conference was an incredible experience showing me new innovating scientific ideas and to create great professional connections. If I ever do another research project, I would certainly like to present at theAVTRW conference again.