Advanced Visualization Insider

Dear Advanced Visualization Insider,

Imaging modalities such as fluoroscopy and CT play a key role in guiding interventional radiologists and surgeons, and in recent years, clinicians have begun employing 3D visualization technologies to improve the efficiency of image-guided procedures.

Researchers from Switzerland demonstrated how they used augmented reality (AR) to visualize virtual 3D models of the vertebrae, as well as optimal insertion routes for implants, during spinal fusion surgery. A separate group from Italy relied on 3D-printed spine models to guide screw insertion while performing the same surgery. Read about how both techniques improved the safety and accuracy of this complex procedure in the Advanced Visualization Community's latest story.

Several other groups have also shown how AR technology could help physicians navigate a number of similar surgeries:

  • Scientists and physicians from France worked together to integrate AR into surgery for inner uterine tumors. The method they developed involved superimposing 3D models based on MRI scans onto a real-time video of the uterus.
  • Investigators from Italy also used AR to overlay dynamic virtual 3D models based on MRI scans onto patient anatomy, but in their case, to guide prostate cancer surgery.
  • Finally, a team of surgeons from Germany combined AR technology with a mobile CT scanner to reduce the radiation dose required to perform CT-guided spine surgery.

In a widely circulated article, researchers from Israel described how they were able to create a miniature 3D-printed heart that captured the immunological, biochemical, cellular, and anatomical properties of a real human heart. The successful production of this 3D-bioprinted heart -- which included cells, blood vessels, ventricles, and chambers -- represents a major step toward personalized tissue and organ replacement, according to the group.

Visit the Advanced Visualization Community at for more on noteworthy events and research in the field. And feel free to reach out with topics you'd like to see covered in the days and weeks to come.

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