Robotics & Simulation Lab
The doctors at the Laboratory for Surgical Modeling, Simulation and Robotics are combining advanced graphics technology, 3D printing technology and sheer computer power to improve surgical outcomes for head & neck surgery.  Dr. Bertram Unger and Dr. Jordan Hochman have teamed up with some incredible colleagues in the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Engineering to develop novel technologies and simulations to enhance patient care. 

Using a combination of 3D modeling, computerized sense of touch and 3D printing, backed by powerful computers, their research is evolving techniques to provide physical models with a "real-life" feel that can be handled in ways that are almost as real as actual surgery.  The team has also developed one of the world's first and most advanced haptic temporal bone simulations - a computer generated 3D image that students can "feel" - and they are at the beginning of a mixed reality surgical simulation.

All of these simulation approaches allow the opportunity to practice on a patient without any inherent risks involved.  "There is a really broad array of positive benefits here with this combination of technology says Dr. Unger.  "From the perspective of younger surgeons, this provides an opportunity to practice skills, with real-time physical feedback and without impacting the patient.  At the other end of the spectrum, more senior, specialized surgeons have the potential to review very specific, very detailed, real information on complicated cases.  they can even practice if they feel it is necessary. The applications as we go forward are numerous."

"Human anatomy is incredibly complex, and the details can be incredibly variable", says Dr. Hochman.  "We are beginning to evaluate the benefits to patient outcomes.  Our aim is to improve the risk profile by providing surgeons an opportunity to appreciate potential challenges before the patient ever enters the operating theatre.  It's essentially a dress rehearsal, specific to each patient.  We are grateful to the donors of the HSC Foundation for their support in helping us continue our research."

Source: HSC Foundation



 Source: DoctorsManitoba



Temporal Bone Surgical Simulation Employing a Multicore Architecture
Kraut J, Hochman JB, Unger B.
Electrical and Computer Engineering, 2013. 26th Annual IEEE Conference. 10.1109/CCECE.2013.6567771, Page 1-6

Generation of a 3D Printed Temporal Bone Model with Internal Anatomic Fidelity and Validation of the Mechanical Construct
Hochman J,  Kraut J, Kazmerik K, Unger B.
Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2014 Mar;150(3):448-54

Design and Validation of 3D Printed Complex Bone Models with Internal Anatomic Fidelity for Surgical Training and Rehearsal
Unger B, Kraut J, Rhodes C, Hochman J.
Stud Health Technol Inform. 2014;196:439-445

Method and System For Rapid Prototyping Of Complex Structures
Unger B, Kraut J, Hochman J.B.
United States Patent and Trademark Office
Publication No.US-2014-0031967-A1, Publication Date:01/30/2014

Mixed Reality Temporal Bone Surgical Dissector: Mechanical Design
Hochman J, Sepehri N, Rampersad V, Kraut J, Khazraee, M, Pisa J, Unger B.
J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2014. 43:23

Comparison of Cadaveric and Isomorphic Virtual Haptic Simulation in Temporal Bone Training
Wong D, Unger B, Kraut J, Pisa J, Rhodes C, Hochman J.
J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2014 Oct 13;43:31

Gesture-Controlled Interactive Three Dimensional Anatomy: A Novel Teaching Tool in Head and Neck Surgery
Hochman J, Unger B, Kraut J, Pisa J, Hombach-Klonisch S.
J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2014 Oct 7;43(1):38

End User Comparison of Anatomically Matched 3-Dimensional Printed and Virtual Haptic Temporal Bone Simulation: A Pilot Study
Hochman J, Rhodes C, Kraut J, Pisa J, Unger B.
Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2015. Publication Pending.

Comparison of Anatomically Matched Cadaveric and Isomorphic 3D Printed Models in Temporal Bone Education
Hochman J, Rhodes C, Wong D, Kraut J, Pisa J, Unger B.
Laryngoscope 2015. Publication Pending.



Dr. B. Unger, MD, Ph.D.
Director, Simulation & Robotics
Department of Medical Education
University of Manitoba
Medical Education Building

Dr. J. Hochman, MD
Neurotologic and Otologic Surgery
Adult Surgical Lead, SHIP
Associate Director, Simulation & Robotics
Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery
University of Manitoba