Virtual Reality Simulator Helps Teach Surgery for Brain Cancer, Reports Neurosurgery
‘NeuroTouch’ System Provides 3-D Graphics and Tactile Feedback During Simulated Brain Surgery.
Philadelphia, PA (September 20, 2012) —
A new virtual reality simulator—including sophisticated 3-D graphics and tactile feedback—provides neurosurgery trainees with valuable opportunities to practice essential skills and techniques for brain cancer surgery, according to a paper in the September issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.
The prototype system, called “NeuroTouch,” uses 3-D graphics and haptic (sense of touch) technology to provide a realistic look and feel for practice in performing common tasks in brain cancer surgery. Lead author Sébastien Delorme, PhD, of the National Research Council Canada and colleagues believe the NeuroTouch system could enhance “acquisition and assessment of technical skills” for neurosurgeons in training.
System Simulates Common Neurosurgery Tasks and Tools
The NeuroTouch system was developed by a team of more than 50 experts from the National Research Council Canada, with input from surgeons at more than 20 Canadian teaching hospitals. The goal was to design a simulation system to provide neurosurgical trainees with opportunities to practice basic surgical skills.
The NeuroTouch software produces 3-D graphics, simulating what the neurosurgeon sees through the operating microscope during surgery—including detailed, lifelike renderings of brain tissue, blood vessels, and tumors. The system also includes haptic tool manipulators, providing tactile feedback similar to what the surgeon would feel during surgery. The simulator runs on computers that, while powerful, are similar to those used to run popular games.