A Virtual Environment for Arthroscopy Simulation

Period of Performance: 09/01/2003 - 04/30/2005


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Touch of Life Technologies
12635 East Montview BoulevardSuite 100
Aurora, CO 80045
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Arthroscopic surgery is one of the most commonly performed operations in the US. As in all surgical specialties, the bulk of the surgeon?s arthroscopic skills are acquired while working on live patients. Today?s climate of contained healthcare costs, patient rights, and associated litigation has created a strong demand to find alternatives to using patients for practicing medical procedures. A simulator reproducing the look and feel of real joint anatomy could be used to impart a significant portion of these skills with instructor-controlled curriculum, unprecedented procedure feedback, and no patient risk. Touch of Life Technologies is developing Virtual Anatomy (VA), based on color photographs of high-resolution cryosectioned human specimens. VA models have significantly higher-resolution than is currently available using any other existing technology. Yet, because they are polygonally based, they may be displayed both haptically and graphically in real-time using inexpensive and widely available graphics hardware. This SBIR will demonstrate the efficacy of high-resolution VA and apply it to produce a realistic arthroscopy simulator. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: The simulator will be marketed to train and test orthopedic residents and fellows, upgrade the skills of practicing surgeons, and provide an objective foundation for certification and credentialing. It will also provide a platform for orthopedic tool and device makers to introduce and to train doctors on their new developments.