Robotic Assisted Deep Brain Stimulation Neurosurgery: First Steps on System Development

Carlos Faria, Estela Bicho, Manuel Rito, Luís Louro, Sérgio Monteiro, and Wolfram Erlhagen


Robotic neurosurgery, Stereotactic electrode implantation, DBS


The advantages of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) lead to an increasing number of stereotactic DBS surgeries, which are extensive procedures that require extreme precision and steadiness of tool handling. Robotic manipulators known for their consistency, movement precision and steadiness have the potential to be remarkable tools to assist the neurosurgeons and can refine the quality/working conditions, while improving surgery outcome. Currently, robotic systems for stereotactic neurosurgeries with simple/pragmatic low budget solutions that fulfil the surgeons’ needs are not yet available. Thus, we have been asked to develop such robotic system. In this paper we present our first steps to- ward such endeavour. Specifically, we implemented a simulation environment for robotic assisted DBS neurosurgery that allows emulating several hardware setups within the operating room, and to test and assess their performance. The simulator is useful not only as tool for developing specialized control applications, but also for training clinicians. First results support the viability of the sought solu- tion and open way to future developments.

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