By Andy Choi
Robotics lab researchers developed Neuroglide that enables introducing screws in small vertebrae with increased precision, and less than a 0.5 mm margin of error. KB Medical will introduce this innovation into the market.
Research team directed by Charles Baur in VRAI (Virtual Reality and Active Interfaces) at Robotic Systems Laboratory (LSRO2) as well as Szymon Kostrzewki, Philippe Bérard developed the robot. The 0.5 mm precision operation will be demonstrated at EPFL. Trials are being made currently on bodies donated to science at the CHUV, and KB medical is being established.
The robot is compactly packed like a small box, leveraged by a passive structure over the operating field. A high precision mechanics and automatic control design has maximum accuracy. Atracsys’ optical tracking camera enables real-time and precision recording the trajectory of this medical drill. The information will then be transferred to software through which the robot can consistently be repositioned based on the trajectory programmed by the surgeon.
A primary x-ray is necessary prior to spinal operation. The x-ray image will allow the surgeon to virtually simulate the ideal screw replacement and exact positioning of the robot. When the patient is ready for the surgery, the surgeon aligns on the real robot with its virtual image on the screen. Neuroglide maintains the drilling position to 1/10 mm.
Around 400,000 spinal- screw placements have been conducted each year in Europe. International Journal on Medical Robotics and Computer-Assisted Surgery states that neurological complications represents up to 4% of manual operations on the second cervical vertebra. The range of arterial injury is between 4% and 8% and the optimal placement of screws represents over 68%.
In order to commercialize the system Szymon Kostrzewski and Philippe Bérard has established KB Medical, to achieve a second prototype within a year followed by clinical trials by 2013 Autumn.