Design of smart tools to support pre- and intra-operative use of surgical navigation systems: Concepts of microcontroller-based display- and actuator-modules, by Gieseler et al. Technisches Messen (2018) published ahead of print.
In this paper we present novel solutions to support the application of computer assisted surgical interventions in which optical surgical navigation systems based on stereo cameras are used. The objective is to improve both the pre-operative setup and the intra-operative use of the navigation system. Following a short introduction describing the potential for improvements of existing navigation systems new approaches and the components to implement them are described. The pre-operative alignment of the stereo camera is made easier by attaching a small graphic display to its tripod which can show how much of the operating area is covered by the measurement volume of the camera. The intra-operative application is improved by a mechanism for motorized camera motions in order to follow the position of surgical instruments. Furthermore a small display can be attached to a surgical instrument which clearly indicates to the surgeon how to guide the instrument in order to stay on the planned trajectory.