Laser Range Scanning for Cortical Surface Registration & Deformation Tracking


This technology aligns a patient in an image-guided surgery system (registration) without the use of fiducial markers on the cranium exterior. The system utilizes laser range scanning technology, the features on the cortical surface and the corresponding natural features derived from the patient’s preoperative MR-data. In addition, the technology is amenable to measuring deformation (brain shift) in order to compensate for intra-operative registration error.

Addressed Need

This technology could be used to augment existing image-guided surgery (IGS) system. The vast majority of medical centers can afford IGS systems but cannot afford dedicated intra-operative magnetic resonance (iMR) imaging suites. This technology allows for the registration and tracking of deformations within brain surgery without that expense. It also directly supports methods associated with brain shift compensation for IGS that use cortical surface data. The system developed can readily augment existing IGS equipment, be minimally disruptive to surgical workflow for brain surgery, and do so in a cost-efficient manner.

Unique Properties and Applications

  • Registration is accomplished off the brain surface; therefore, this method can be more accurate in the presence of shifts at earliest time points in surgery
  • Brain deformations can be measured, allowing compensation strategies for brain shift to be developed
  • The overlays provided by this technology provide new spatial cues to surgeons to aid orientation in the intracranial environment

Technology Development Status

Technology has been developed and implemented into a clinical environment.

Intellectual Property Status

Issued US patents: 7,103,399 and 7,647,087

Figure 1: Protocol for achieving intra-operative brain shift compensation.

Licensing Contact

Philip Swaney

Tech ID:
Medical Imaging