Micro surgical instrument guidance with CamBar B1
A cochlear implant partially restores hearing ability of patients with residual function of their cochlear nerve. Due to the close proximity of crucial nerves around the implant, conventional surgery involves opening the patient’s skull in an area approximately the size of a EURO coin in order to insert the hearing device’s electrode. This invasive method has been necessary as the accuracy required to position and track a drill, avoiding crucial anatomical structures, could not be achieved in the past.
Integrating the tracking system CamBar B1 into a robotic guidance system for navigated cochlear implantation has allowed engineers at the ARTORG Center at Bern University to develop a minimally invasive method of surgery for cochlear implantation. The system utilizes a robotic arm drilling a narrow tunnel from the temporal bone to the inner ear. The tunnel is just wide enough to allow insertion of an electrode, causing minimal trauma to the patient. CamBar B1 assists the process by tracking and positioning instruments and patients with an accuracy of a few 1/100 millimeters.
With this development, the ARTORG Center at Bern University makes it possible to perform a much safer and less invasive placement of cochlear implant, thereby decreasing the time a patient needs to recover from the surgery.
More information on ARTORG Center projects and the development of the micro surgical instrument guidance can be found here.