Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

Abhijit Guha, a neurosurgeon at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, who is unaffiliated with NeuroTouch, says that virtual surgery will never replace the real thing. “One weakness of the system is that it is based on archival MRI scans, which may not be valid as surgery proceeds due to brain and cerebrospinal fluid shifts,” Guha says. “Also, there is the judgment factor, especially when something goes wrong.”

A technical limitation of the prototype is that it can only represent tumors close to the surface of the brain, and surgeons can only use one hand. Development will continue through April 2011, however, and the final device will allow doctors to work on deep brain tumors with multiple surgical tools and both hands.

NRC plans to send prototypes to neurosurgery centers across Canada, and then transfer the technology to a commercial partner within two years. A commercial version could sell for $10,000 to $500,000, depending on its functions. “The package will include a PC-based planner for optimal surgical corridor selection as well as a trainer for surgical tasks and typical surgical procedures,” says NRC’s Robert DiRaddo, who led development. “The two will be integrated into a rehearsal system for patient-specific use.”

“The objective from the outset has been to commercialize the neurosurgical simulator,” D’Arcy says. “The goal is to put the simulator in clinics, hospitals, and teaching centers around the world, but there is a lot of work yet to be done.”

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Credit: NRCa

Tagged: Computing, Biomedicine, brain, neuroscience, brain imaging, virtual reality, surgery, simulations, brain simulation, brain surgery

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me
×

A Place of Inspiration

Understand the technologies that are changing business and driving the new global economy.

September 23-25, 2014
Register »