Technical Physician Stefan Hummelink, dept. of Plastic Surgery, has been granted a STW Demonstrator subsidy for further development of the Anatomy Projector. This devices projects blood vessels and other relevant anatomy onto the patient's body. Such projection can contribute improve surgical procedures in terms of speed and reliability. Preoperative imaging has often been performed through CT or MRI scans in order to prepare the surgery. For example, in breast reconstructive surgery, one can utilize the patient's own abdominal tissue to form a new breast. This tissue, consisting mostly of fat and skin, can only survive if minuscule blood vessels are conserved during the harvest. The process of harvesting this so-called 'free flap' is delicate and time-consuming. The surgery is therefore preoperatively planned on a workstation in 3D. Together with the dept. of Radiology, the Anatomy Projector prototype was developed, which displays the planning directly onto the patient's skin, and is investigated further in a research setting. With support from dept. of Valorization, the STW Demonstrator grant had been requested. Hummelink is now building a demonstration model to boost the transfer of this technology to market with the granted € 150,000. In addition, other applications are being considered, as the device provides interesting starting points for education and patient information.
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