SpinePilot – Sensor-integrated precision instrument for minimally invasive computer-assisted spine surgery


In many surgical procedures the alignment of a surgical instrument to a planned trajectory is a fundamental. Higher accuracy of this trajectory navigation can enhance the outcome of the surgical procedure by exactly executing the preoperative plan or by enabling less invasive procedures. Therefore, many computer assisted navigation systems have been developed and introduced into surgical routine offering high flexibility. But these navigation systems are also limited by costs and accuracy of the tracking system used and by human errors during free-hand navigation. Higher accuracy can be achieved by robotic devices though they suffer from high safety demands due to active electric components in direct contact to the patient and high costs.


The aim is to design and evaluate a new concept for transpediculare spine instrumentation, where a mechanical system is automatically adjusted by a smart mechatronic driver (SMD; patent pending) who reaches the same accuracy as using robotic systems but without any active components being attached to the patient. This concept relies on the separation of the mechanical positioning device for alignment of a guiding sleeve for surgical instruments and the handheld SMD for adjusting all axes of the positioning device according to the preoperative plan leading to cost reduction and enhancement of safety.


The Project SpinePilot was funded by the European Union as part of the European Regional Development Fund.
(Project term: 3/2010-12/2012)


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