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RepliExplore makes hearts graspable

A novel system for the computer-assisted examination of anatomical organ models will be presented at MEDICA 2008. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg have developed a software programme ‘RepliExplore’ that enables the construction of individualised models for use in complicated surgical interventions.

State-of-the art medical imaging devices produce high-resolution and highly accurate two-dimensional layer images from inside the body. Nevertheless, doctors need good spatial skills to compare these images with the three-dimensional anatomy of their patients.
RepliExplore: 1) plaster model of a patient’s heart, 2) three-dimensional presentation of the model on the screen, 3) tracking system, 4) camera that follows the movements of the indicator pointer. (Photo: DKFZ)
The scientists in the Department of Medical and Biological Informatics at the German Cancer Research Centre are specialists in the development of software systems for 3D anatomical representations. The researchers’ latest development is RepliExplore, a novel system for the computer-assisted examination of anatomical organ models.

The use of anatomical preparations in medical applications has a long tradition, for example they have always been excellent teaching tools. Modern software solutions also enable anatomical preparations to be presented in 3D on computer screens. Software solutions offer a plethora of different interaction possibilities, for example certain structures can be faded in and out, and dynamic processes such as the heartbeat can be visualised.

RepliExplore also enables the production of special plaster models for individual patients using computer-assisted rapid prototyping techniques. In addition, the organ model is presented on a computer screen. Doctors can use specifically calibrated indicator pointers to carry out various operations on the model. The heart literally becomes graspable in the true sense of the word. RepliExplore combines virtual information with a haptically perceivable model.

In future, RepliExplore will also be used in heart surgery for the treatment of patients who need to be fitted with cardiac valves or who have complicated heart malformations.

RepliExplore will be presented at MEDICA from 19th to 22nd November 2008 at the "Baden-Württemberg International" booth (hall 16, booth E41).

Source: German Cancer Research Centre press release - 17 November 2008 (EJ)
Website address: https://www.gesundheitsindustrie-bw.de/en/article/news/repliexplore-makes-hearts-graspable