openPR Logo
Press release


03-23-2018 12:28 PM CET | Science & Education

Press release from: PR&D


Linz (Austria), 22nd of March, 2018 – In recently completed practical tests at the Department of Neurosurgery at Kepler University Hospital, Linz (Austria), a highly advanced brain surgery simulator has received overwhelming approval from experienced neurosurgeons. In a unique first, the system is able to simulate complicated surgery for dangerous bulges in arteries under realistic conditions. This could offer major benefits in training neurosurgeons to perform these challenging operations. Now, the results were published in the international journal World Neurosurgery.

It’s not just pilots who need to ensure that the tools of their trade provide pinpoint precision. In neurosurgery, precision is just as much a matter of life and death. In both cases, training the necessary skills should be absolutely risk-free. Responding to these demands, the Department of Neurosurgery at Kepler University Hospital in Linz developed a high-performance simulator for budding neurosurgeons, which has now been put through expert testing.

The development of the highly promising simulator involved neuroscientists and software engineers engaging in close collaboration. According to Prof. Andreas Gruber, Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery, "This collaboration has, for the first time ever, enabled us to simulate arterial wall movement and real blood flow with a very high degree of realism. These two factors are crucial for successfully treating dangerous bulges in arteries known as aneurysms. While correct placement of the clips used to fix aneurysms is highly dependent on arterial wall movement, changes in blood flow are a crucial source of information about the success of the operation."

But the simulator developed at Kepler University Hospital pushes the innovation envelope even further. Trainees are able to use the actual instruments involved in these operations, allowing a greater degree of realism than ever before. And that’s still not all – the simulator even features real-time technology. This means that the encounter between surgical instrument and arterial wall is computed instantly, with no lag, thereby matching the chronology of a real operation. "In this way, surgeons can learn under realistic conditions," notes Prof. Gruber, “This is absolutely essential for training and perfecting key skills, such as hand-eye coordination, depth perception and tactile discrimination.”

The simulator has now been tested by experienced neurosurgeons with an average of over 14 years of neurosurgery experience. The simulations were based on data from actual operations. This allowed the results of the simulated surgery to be compared with the results of actual surgery. After using the simulator, 89% of the neurosurgeons reported that it had improved their anatomical understanding, while as many as 94% would like to see the simulator incorporated into neurosurgery education.

The software system for virtual aneurysm surgery has been under development since 2012 in a joint project between the Department of Neurosurgery and the Institute for Neuroradiology at Kepler University Hospital, in cooperation with RISC Software GmbH, Hagenberg (Austria). The challenge has been to achieve the greatest possible degree of realism while minimising the required computing power. On the one hand, the simulation requires a demanding mathematical model to represent arterial wall behaviour. On the other hand, the realistic simulation of the operation calls for real-time computations. By drawing on special methods and algorithms and thanks to smart allocation of available processing power, the team has succeeded in meeting the different requirements.

The paper, which has been published in an international journal, once again demonstrates the importance that Austria’s largest University Hospital Neurosurgery Department places on integrating tried and tested innovation into its clinical practice. The ultimate goal is that simulations of aneurysm surgery should be used for both education and training, as well as for pre-operative planning.

Images available on request

Original publication: Virtual Cerebral Aneurysm Clipping with Real-Time Haptic Force Feedback in Neurosurgical Education. M. Gmeiner, J. Dirnberger, W. Fenz, M. Gollwitzer, G. Wurm, J. Trenkler, A. Gruber.
World Neurosurg. 2018 Jan 11, pii: S1878-8750(18)30082-2. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2018.01.042.

About the Department of Neurosurgery at Kepler University Hospital
The department is the largest University Hospital Neurosurgery Department in Austria and offers patients a full range of diagnostic and therapeutic neurosurgery services. It includes an interdisciplinary acute neurology/neurosurgery aftercare ward which provides early remobilisation therapies. The department treats 3,600 inpatients per year, with an average stay of 6.14 days, as well as dealing with 12,700 outpatient appointments. The department has five operating theatres, where around 2,600 operations are performed annually.


Scientific Contact
Prof. Andreas Gruber
Universitätsklinik für Neurochirurgie
Kepler Universitätsklinikum GmbH
Wagner-Jauregg-Weg 15
4021 Linz / Austria
T +43 / 5 / 7680 87-25901


Copy Editing & Distribution
PR&D – Public Relations für Forschung & Bildung
Ira Paschinger
Mariannengasse 8
1090 Vienna / Austria
T +43 / 1 / 505 70 44

This release was published on openPR.

Permanent link to this press release:

Please set a link in the press area of your homepage to this press release on openPR. openPR disclaims liability for any content contained in this release.

You can edit or delete your press release "FLIGHT SIMULATOR" FOR BRAINS GETS THUMBS UP FROM NEUROSURGEONS here

News-ID: 990037 • Views: 397

More Releases from PR&D

08-22-2019 | Health & Medicine
Congenital Immunodeficiencies: Many Affected, Low Awareness; 15 Years of Joint P …
Outpatient immunology clinic in Vienna, Austria, a partner of the Jeffrey Modell Foundation for primary immunodeficiency disorders (PID) based in the US for the past 15 years; joint effort to increase awareness and improve health and quality of life of thousands of patients prone to serious infections. Vienna (Austria), August 21 2019 –. The successful partnership between the Immunologische Tagesklinik (ITK), a privately run outpatient immunology clinic in Vienna, and the
07-11-2019 | Science & Education
EU Healthcare Systems: a Reallocation Of Resources Is Urgently Needed
Turning away from “low-value” (waste, overuse) towards “high-value” health care is critical for the sustainability of solidarity-based healthcare systems. The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Health Technology Assessment is represented on the European Expert Panel. Vienna, 11. July 2019 – On behalf of the European Commission, international health experts are now making a series of recommendations designed to place reallocation in healthcare systems on a real, value-based foundation. With the current pressure
12-05-2018 | Science & Education
contextflow selected for Philips HealthWorks AI in Radiology Accelerator
Deep learning expert contextflow GmbH thrilled to announce its participation in highly-selective program with one of the world’s leading health innovation companies Vienna, Austria, December 5th 2018 - contextflow, a recognized name in the highly competitive field of AI in medical image processing, is one of only 19 startups from 14 countries invited to participate in a 12-week “AI in Healthcare” startup-accelerator program spearheaded by Philips HealthWorks, a global leader in