Kitware received $1,932,231 in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop and validate its neurosurgery simulation tool for the treatment of arteriovenour malformations (AVMs). The project is a collaborative effort between Kitware, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), the University of North Carolina’s (UNC) Departments of Computer Science and Neurosurgery, Arizona State University (ASU) and Professor Nikos Chrisochoides from the Computer Science Department at Old Dominion University.
Arteriovenous malformation is an abnormal connection between arteries and veins, bypassing the capillary system. The surgical resectioning of AVMs is one of the most complex surgeries involving brain vasculature, so neurosurgeons need to be highly trained. The project leaders believe use of a realistic and approach-specific simulator will significantly improve the training process by allowing surgeons to have hands-on experiences without jeopardizing the health of patients.
The project’s team members have extensive expertise in clinical neurosurgical procedures, computational mechanics, computer graphics, meshing algorithms, human factor studies, and real-time simulation. Dr. Suvranu De from RPI, Dr. Dinesh Manocha from UNC, and Dr. Andinet Enquobahrie from Kitware are co-Principal Investigators for the project.
The collaborators aim to build a clinically-realistic and well-validated neurosurgical simulator that can effectively model vascular structures and non-linear deformations that occur during the surgical treatment of AVMs. The project's technical development includes anatomical modeling and volumetric meshing of vascular structures. It also involves combining FEM biomechanical modeling with fluid simulation and integrating GPU-based implementations for real-time simulation – and the technical development entails advanced collision detection and response algorithms.
"We believe the proposed neurosurgical simulator will be a powerful teaching tool for training residents and allow them to practice their surgical skills in a risk-free environment before application to patients; this will translate to fewer operating room errors, reduced patient morbidity, and improved patient outcomes," said Dr. Andinet Enquobahrie, the overall contact Principal Investigator. "We will work with the Department of Neurosurgery at UNC to validate the effectiveness of the simulator as a training tool."
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