Route planner for minimally invasive neurosurgery
The Route Planner for the brain, which was awarded a Proof of Concept Grant in 2007, helps to capitalise on soft tissue navigation with a flexible probe for minimally invasive neurosurgery, thereby achieving optimum placement accuracy at minimum risk for patients. It generates a route through a digital brain atlas which includes detailed brain anatomical structures and a risk mapping database. An optimised surgical plan is created by providing the following parameters: entry site, traverse pathway, target location and constraints given by the geometric features of the neuro-probe to be employed.
The risk-related brain structure is developed by considering, for the specified area, both the neural function in healthy subjects and the severity of dysfunctions related to the potential local damage. The brain “zones” are sorted into 6 groups according to the neurological prognosis that would be caused following damage during insertion, from “accessible” to “avoid” through “common”, “careful”, “warning” and “dangerous”.
An explanatory video can be downloaded here (3.5MB).