Recent advances in x-ray detectors and microcomputers have enabled compact and affordable computed tomography (CT) imaging devices to be successful in dental and otolaryngology applications. This technology holds promise for neurosurgical applications. Specifically, intraoperative imaging updates would benefit minimally-invasive treatment of brain cancer by providing anatomic updates to the surgeon and localization data updates to surgical navigation for more accurate, safe and complete neoplasm removal. In this project, a compact intra-operative flat-panel CT imager integrated with a surgical navigation system will be developed. The product will use advanced imaging methods to produce low-artifact soft tissue images, even in the skull base and posterior fossa, which are typically challenging regions for x-ray imagers. The product will offer soft tissue image quality unprecedented for x-ray based surgical navigation. It will also be the most compact and OR-friendly image-guided neurosurgical navigation system available to date. Phase 1 work demonstrated the feasibility of using flat panel cone beam CT for low contrast imaging, as required for neurosurgical applications. In Phase 2, further efforts are proposed to advance soft-tissue imaging capability and to integrate the imager with surgical navigation tools. A prototype will be evaluated in a pilot study for the specific minimally-invasive neurosurgical task of transphenoidal endonasal pituitary tumor resection surgery. If successful, approximately $13 M in annual revenue and 15 additional jobs will be generated in the southeast Michigan life sciences corridor.
Minimally invasive surgical procedures have many benefits to public health including reducing the medical risks and costs associated with brain cancer surgery. However such procedures are often time consuming and technically difficult as the surgeon is unable to directly visualize the area of the operation. In this project an intraoperative surgical system is developed with onboard imaging capability in order to enable minimally invasive brain surgeries to be performed more safely and completely, by providing hi- resolution imaging of the brain while the surgeon operates through the patients nose.