Development, integration and evaluation of a
Compact Robot for Image Guided Orthopedic Surgery
RWTH Aachen / Lehrstuhl für Biomedizinische Technik
Head and Director: Univ.-Prof. Dr. rer. nat. G. Rau
Helmholtz-Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Surgical Therapy Technology Lab
Pauwelsstrasse 20, D-52074 Aachen, Germany
EC/DGXII BIOMED 2
Project No.: BHM4-CT97-2427
(Project term: 08/1997-01/2001)
The main activities in orthopaedic surgery are surgical interventions on bone structures and joints for the treatment of congenital or acquired disorders of the human skeleton and motion apparatus. The exact relations and geometries of the surgical planning and its exact reproduction within the operating site play an important role. The exact coupling ofthe geometries of the real bone structure, the image-based model being the base of the surgical planning and finally the guidance of the surgeon according to his planning often can not be guaranteed by conventional technical means. The basic idea of Computer Assisted Surgery is to help the surgeon to define an accurate surgical planning on multimodal pre-and per-operative images and then to help to perform the operation as planned thanks tothe use of robotic guiding systems. In Europe, there are about 1.000.000 patients/year in orthopaedic surgery (the cost estimated at 3.000.000.000 Ecus/year). Potential benefits of Computer Assisted Surgery are the reduction of invasiveness, improvement of accuracy, safety and reliability of operation, standardisation, shorter time of intervention and faster return to normal activities for patients as well as reduction of x-ray exposure of the medical staff. However, the introduction of robotics technologyin the operating room must be made according to accurate medical specifications andconstraints. To meet these objectives, CRIGOS gathers five clinical sites of four different European countries, two universities and two complementary SME specialised in software and mechanical design with quality assurance for medical applications. Additionally, one of the world's leading manufacturer for surgical equipment and instrumentation, contributes to the project providing special experience concerning the integration of modular devices, computer assisted surgery systems and end effectors as well as the preparation of industrial exploitation. Different orthopaedic applications will betaken into account in the specifications and development according to a 3-step-procedure:
The general objective of the project is to develop a new system for image guidedorthopaedic surgery consisting of a new compact robot, special devices for the adaptation to specific surgical applications and a software system for planning and execution of the surgical interventions especially based on pre- and intraoperative imageacquisition. The detailed analysis of user needs, intraoperative bottlenecks and boundary conditions, will be the base of the work. A modular architecture of the CRIGOS-system offering various medical functionalities will be designed on the basis of key technologies for which CRIGOS partners have an important know how. One of the key technologies to be developed will be a small, safe, slow, sterilizable, compact and accurate robot based on a parallel architecture. Another key technology will be a surgical planning system based on multimodal images. We intend to publish both the medical and interface specifications at the end of the project so that both components (robot and planning platform) could serve as general tools for different applications in the area of CAS. From the technical pointof view we are very confident in the chosen approach as good results have been already achieved by joint R&D efforts preparing this proposed project and demonstrating the technical feasibility of the approach and the access to key technologies (1st labtype of a 6 DOF parallel compact robot device, 2D-3D registration, calibration, multimodal imageprocessing).
Each of the developmental topics will strongly include the investigation and development of concepts concerning ergonomic system design, safety and quality control. During the on-going project quality assurance is based on standards and QA systems of the industrial partners as well as on permanent reviews of the development and evaluation by expert surgeons.