When most people hear the word PicoP, they think of laser projectors for business presentations or movies. However, with the help of MicroVision PicoP technology, researchers at the ARTORG Center of Computer Aided Surgery at the University of Bern in Switzerland are creating a visual display application that can help guide surgeons when performing operations.

Similar to the On Patient Imaging application we discussed in a previous post, this new application uses PicoP technology to create a handheld prototype that projects images of key vascular structures onto the patient’s organs, such as a liver, during surgery.

The concept of image projection to assist in surgical navigation and computer -aided surgery is intended to reduce operation time and help avoid injury to invisible structures during surgical procedures. Prototypes that have been developed in the past often require the surgeon to look back and forth from a screen to the patient, or impede the surgeon’s view all together, or require complicated set up, including constant focusing and calibrating.

To help resolve these issues, the researchers at ARTORG Center of Computer Aided Design used the MicroVision PicoP development kit to create a small, handheld device to project images onto human organs. The small size of the device allows surgeons to easily adjust the image, creating different viewing angles and also ensuring that it doesn’t obstruct the surgeon’s view. Additionally, the PicoP technology provides users with an image that is constantly in focus and can be displayed, without the need to calibrate the device or adjust the focus. The vivid color display also ensures that images are visible on any type of surface, including the liver, among other organs.

We’re eager to see the concept of image overlay in surgical procedures develop over time, and also watch how our PicoP technology will have a direct impact on the efficiency and accuracy of medical procedures. For more information, check out the photos below.

Design of the handheld device that incorporates a MicroVision PicoP development kit containing a portable RGB laser, video processor and MEMS controller.

Projection of liver vessels, tumors and resection planes on pig liver tissue