The PatientSIM project

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xxx The PatientSIM project deals with the development of an augmented reality simulator where novice surgeons can train the whole procedure of kyphoplasty or vertebroplasty. Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are similar medical spinal procedure where bone cement is injected through a small hole in the skin into a fractured vertebra with the goal of relieving the pain of vertebral compression fractures (VCF).

Project Leader: Andreas Schrempf
Co-workers: David Fuerst, Harald Fischer
Funded by: Regio 13 (Upper Austria) - European Regional Development Fund (EU)
Duration: January 2012 – December 2014



Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty are common treatment opportunities for VCFs which are mainly caused by osteoporosis and vertebral body tumors. The simulator contributes to higher patient safety and allows the training without radiation exposure and the necessity of specimens. Patient specificity is integrated through the usage of artificial vertebra(e) originating from segmented CT-scans and manufactured by appropriate rapid prototyping procedures. The mechanical properties of these reproductions are comparable to human vertebrae providing realistic haptic feedback. Further anatomical structures like the spinal cord, muscles, etc. are step by step integrated into the surgical simulation environment. Currently, two doctoral students (Fischer Harald and Fürst David) are working on this project.