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.
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.
Professor Philippe C. Cattin, University of Basel, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tel. +41 61 207 54 00, Email: email@example.com
Olivia Poisson | Universität Basel
Rutgers researchers develop automated robotic device for faster blood testing
14.06.2018 | Rutgers University
Speech comprehension with a cochlear implant
04.06.2018 | Universität zu Lübeck
In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.
Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...
Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
21.06.2018 | Earth Sciences
21.06.2018 | Life Sciences
21.06.2018 | Earth Sciences