Professor Dr. Philippe Cattin of the University of Basel Department of Biomedical Engineering was a guest speaker in the BBL seminar series on Thursday 22 November 2018 with a presentation on "Volume Rendering in Virtual Reality (VR²)".
Prof. Cattin began with a brief introduction to the ultrasound-driven 4D magnetic resonance imaging (US-4DMRI) method for visualizing respiratory motion in the thorax and abdomen and continued with a discussion on the use of lasers for surgical bone cutting. The methods used for surgical bone cutting today – mechanical cutting with a saw – differ very little from what was used in the 19th century. Prof. Cattin is developing a method for the surgical use of lasers in place of mechanical tools to ablate bones. The cuts made by lasers exhibit improved healing characteristics compared to mechanical cuts. Further, laser cutting can be robot-guided with computer-controlled navigation that allows for novel three-dimensional cuts with, e.g., wavy edges, that stabilize the bone placement during healing. Surgical planning and execution is thereby simplified, and outcomes have the potential to be vastly improved. This work is supported through the flagship project MIRACLE – Minimally Invasive Robot-Assisted Computer-guided LaserosteotomE – with funding from the Werner Siemens-Foundation.
Prof. Cattin continued with a demonstration of an augmented or virtual reality tool for planning the particularly demanding precise cuts required in skull surgery. The tool capitalizes on cost-effective innovative volume rendering processed on tablet computers that support collaborative viewing and can also be used for surgical training. Interested BBL attendees had the opportunity to try out one of these virtual reality setups.
Many thanks to Prof. Cattin for an inspiring presentation!