Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Virtual Reality in Medicine: New Opportunities for Diagnostics and Surgical Planning

07.12.2016

Before an operation, surgeons have to obtain the most precise image possible of the anatomical structures of the part of the body undergoing surgery. University of Basel researchers have now developed a technology that uses computed tomography data to generate a three-dimensional image in real time for use in a virtual environment.

The planning of a surgical procedure is an essential part of successful treatment. To determine how best to carry out procedures and where to make an incision, surgeons need to obtain as realistic an image as possible of anatomical structures such as bones, blood vessels, and tissues.


With SpectoVive, doctors can interact in a three-dimensional space with a part of the body that requires surgery.

Screenshot: University of Basel

Researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel’s Department of Biomedical Engineering have now succeeded in taking two-dimensional cross-sections from computer tomography and converting them for use in a virtual environment without a time lag.

Using sophisticated programming and the latest graphics cards, the team led by Professor Philippe C. Cattin succeeded in speeding up the volume rendering to reach the necessary frame rate. In addition, the SpectoVive system can perform fluid shadow rendering, which is important for creating a realistic impression of depth.

For example, doctors can use the latest generation of virtual reality glasses to interact in a three-dimensional space with a hip bone that requires surgery, zooming in on the bone, viewing it from any desired angle, adjusting the lighting angle, and switching between the 3D view and regular CT images. Professor Cattin explains the overall benefits: “Virtual reality offers the doctor a very intuitive way to obtain a visual overview and understand what is possible.”

“This brand-new technology smoothly blurs the boundary between the physical world and computer simulation. As a doctor, I am no longer restricted to looking at my patient’s images from a bird’s eye view. Instead, I become part of the image and can move around in digital worlds to prepare myself, as a surgeon, for an operation in detail never seen before,” says ophthalmologist Dr. Peter Maloca.

“I have found that these new environments continue to guide me and have helped rewire my senses, ultimately making me a better doctor. Those who stand to gain the most here are doctors, their patients, and students – all of whom can share in this new information,” adds Maloca, who works at University Hospital Basel’s OCTlab and at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London.

Improved volume rendering

The ability to convert CT images into a 3D on-screen representation is nothing new. Until now, however, commonly available hardware could not generate these three-dimensional volumes in real time for use in virtual spaces. One particularly challenging aspect was that smooth playback in a virtual environment requires at least 180 images a second – 90 images each for the left and right eyes; otherwise, the viewer may experience nausea or dizziness.

Widespread interest in innovation

This achievement was aided by developments in the computer games industry and new generations of powerful standard hardware, providing medical practitioners with access to three-dimensional test environments. At present, the Basel-based researchers are conducting regular demonstrations of SpectoVive to physicians in order to highlight the system’s potential and, at the same time, to gain a better understanding of doctors’ requirements.

Some museums have also expressed interest in the technology, seeing SpectoVive as an opportunity to allow visitors to discover the world inside exhibits, such as mummies, in an intuitive and nondestructive manner. However, Philippe Cattin, Professor for Image-Guided Therapy at the Faculty of Medicine, sees the greatest potential in the areas of diagnostics, surgical planning, and medical training.

SpectoVive – part of the MIRACLE project

This innovation is part of the MIRACLE project underway at the Department of Biomedical Engineering. The project is receiving CHF 15.2 million in funding from the Werner Siemens-Foundation. Its aim is to allow the minimally invasive treatment of bones using laser beams. One day, it is expected that SpectoVive technology will be used in the planning of surgical procedures and for the navigation of the robot-guided laser system.

Further information

Professor Philippe C. Cattin, University of Basel, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tel. +41 61 207 54 00, Email: philippe.cattin@unibas.ch

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.unibas.ch/en/News-Events/News/Uni-Research/Virtual-Reality-in-Medici...

Olivia Poisson | Universität Basel

Further reports about: CT CT images Medicine Virtual Reality computer simulation virtual environment

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht First transcatheter implant for diastolic heart failure successful
16.11.2017 | The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

nachricht Theranostic nanoparticles for tracking and monitoring disease state
13.11.2017 | SLAS (Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening)

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Previous evidence of water on mars now identified as grainflows

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope completes final cryogenic testing

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New catalyst controls activation of a carbon-hydrogen bond

21.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>