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Abstract: TH-PO303

A 3D-Printed Ultrasound Probe Holder to Facilitate Ease of Ultrasound-Guided Arteriovenous Fistula (AVF) Cannulation

Session Information

Category: Dialysis

  • 703 Dialysis: Vascular Access


  • O'Keeffe, Hannah Marie, Tallaght University Hospital, Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  • Mohamed Razif, Noor Adeebah, The University of Dublin Trinity College, Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  • Donders, Ella Birgitta, The University of Dublin Trinity College, Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  • Byrne, Daniel, The University of Dublin Trinity College, Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  • Fouda, Basem, The University of Dublin Trinity College, Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  • Leigh, Fiona, Tallaght University Hospital, Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  • Chevarria, Julio L., Tallaght University Hospital, Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

Ultrasound guidance has the potential to reduce complications due to miscannulation such as haematomas and infiltration. Ultrasound-guided needle insertion requires confidence and practice, and particularly for early users can be cumbersome and even require an additional person to hold the probe. The creation of a probe holder was felt to have the potential to facilitate a single person to perform real time ultrasound-guided needling, rather than using ultrasound initially and marking the AVF, or requiring an additional person to assist.


Using an iterative prototyping approach, a 3D-printed probe holder was created which allows horizontal and vertical adjustment of the probe position, 360 degrees range of motion for the probe and the ability to hold the probe in a stationary position. The authors consist of Biomedical Engineering Masters students, Nephrologists and a Vascular Access Nurse Specialist from two Irish institutions who collaborated to create this 3D printed prototype.

A computer-aided design (CAD) model was created using SolidWorks (Dassault Systemes, USA). The model was designed in parts and printed with the Original Prusa i3 MK3S+ using polylactic acid thermoplastic as the material.


The final design consists of a flat base which can be placed on a bed or table, with two semi-circular structures to keep the arm stable and reduce mobility, and a boss-head mechanism to be able to adjust the horizontal and vertical position of the probe holder. There is a proximal hinge and a ball and socket joint, which provide additional range of motion in all directions. The probe holder itself is ridged to facilitate different orientations of the probe. The probe is secured to the ridged probe holder by an elastic band. The model was tested using a Mindray TE7 linear probe.


The authors present a functional device which can potentially facilitate the use of real time ultrasound-guided cannulation. This solution is cost effective, estimated at $20.01 including materials, print time and energy consumption. The instructions are freely available online at Further testing of use in the clinical setting is required to assess issues with utilisation and whether the potential benefits are realised.