Multiple diseases can require patients to undergo spine surgery. At the BITE group, we are developing a novel probe that allows for the surgeon to steer through the bone along a secure drilling trajectory, avoiding nerves and blood vessels that run along the spinal column. To help the surgeon find and maintain the right trajectory, an optical sensing system based on Diffuse Reflectance Spectroscopy (DRS) will be integrated into the probe to differentiate the tissue ahead of the tool tip, thereby providing positional feedback for the surgeon in real time.
In the scope of the proposed graduation project, a probe prototype will be designed that enables the surgeon to sense the correct entry point for spine drilling procedures. Its usability for guidance will be assessed through drilling tests on a bone phantom/ex-vivo animal bone.