A Virtual Repository of Neurosurgical Instrumentation for Neuroengineering Research and Collaboration.


Department of Neurosurgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND : Advancements in microscopy and more recently in neuroendoscopy have revolutionized the field of neurosurgery. Handheld neurosurgical instruments are integral components of these procedures. However, these instruments have many limitations, such as poor ergonomics, constrained maneuverability, and limited degrees of freedom. A need for developing better instruments is commonly felt by neurosurgeons. Also, the focus of modern neurosurgical training is shifting toward simulation models. The baseline data of surgical instruments play a vital role in the development of virtual and physical simulators. A primary factor impeding development of novel instruments and simulators is lack of a comprehensive surgical instrument database. The aim of this study was to develop and validate a virtual repository of microscopic and neuroendoscopic instruments.
METHODS : Standard neurosurgical instrument sets were scanned, reverse engineered, and stored in various file formats at the file transfer protocol server. The developed database was validated by 4 groups of experts by creating different neurosurgery applications.
RESULTS : Four groups of experts used the repository content to create novel ergonomic instrument designs, e-learning material, computer vision-based surgical skills evaluation and virtual reality and validated the contents. The validation results showed that quality of content (75%), usefulness of content (85.6%), and time saving using content (88.1%) received high scores, and the effectiveness of the virtual repository contents was appreciated.
CONCLUSIONS : The virtual database is an efficient starting aid to foster research collaborations related to neurosurgical instruments and surgical simulation platforms.


Blue light scanning,Innovation,Neurosurgical instruments,Reverse engineering,Simulation,Virtual repository,