NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Intelligent Systems Division Banner
Neurosurgery Testbed

Neurosurgery Testbed

Standard Neurosurgery Stereotactic Device

Standard Neurosurgery Stereotactic Device Utilized

Embedded Tumor

Embedded Tumor
Graphics: Computer-Integrated Surgery, Taylor 1996.

Develop smart diagnostic software and tools for 1) space biology research and 2) medical care and treatment on long space flights.

To develop these tools in a realistic environment and as a technology spin-off application, we are developing smart diagnostic software and tools to increase the safety, accuracy and efficiency of neurosurgery operations.

Neurosurgery procedures are currently performed using surgical tools that have limited or no sensing capability at the tool’s tip, typically guided only by a pre-operative MRI or CT scan. One of the dangers is tearing a blood vessel in the surgical tool’s path, causing a disabling or possibly fatal stroke. Moreover, neurological deficits may arise if the surgeon removes or treats more tissue than is necessary. The robotic neurosurgery device is a minimally invasive probe equipped with multiple microsensors at its tip. As the probe is inserted into tissue, the microsensors measure the signal signature of the tissue encountered while the smart software characterizes, analyzes and identifies the tissue type in real time. If a blood vessel is in its path, probe insertion is automatically stopped. Using multimodality sensing and high dimensional characterization, it may be possible to accurately detect a tumor’s margin or a specific nucleus in the brain (to treat movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease). The robotic neurosurgery device is equipped with mechanical stops to ensure that the probe only travels to a limited depth in the brain. The robotic neurosurgery Smart Probe device is mounted on a standard neurosurgery stereotactic device to perform precise movements and positioning, a task that is very difficult to achieve by hand.

First Gov logo
NASA Logo -