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Picker snags NASA grant for ViewPoint

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has awardedthe Ohio Aerospace Institute a $9.35 million grant to continuework on minimally invasive surgical techniques using surgicalguidance and MRI instruments developed by Picker Internationalof

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has awardedthe Ohio Aerospace Institute a $9.35 million grant to continuework on minimally invasive surgical techniques using surgicalguidance and MRI instruments developed by Picker Internationalof Cleveland.

The institute has worked with Picker and the Cleveland Clinicin Ohio for several years to develop ViewPoint, a computer-assistedsurgery system that incorporates aerospace and defense technologies(SCAN 11/9/94). The Wright Laboratory Avionics Directorate andNASA Lewis Research Center also participate.

The two-year NASA grant will fund development of a computer-assistedminimally invasive surgery (CAMIS) system, which integrates Picker'sViewPoint and the company's Outlook open-style MRI system. ViewPointis based on a powerful computer that correlates the position ofa 3-D localizer probe with stored MRI or CT images that are flashedon an operating room screen to display anatomy otherwise hiddenduring minimally invasive surgery. Such precise localization enablessurgeons to target tumors and other areas of interest, accordingto Picker. The investigational ViewPoint is in clinical trials.

Outlook is designed around an open-architecture permanent magnetthat allows patient access from all sides. By integrating ViewPointwith Outlook, researchers plan to give surgeons the ability toacquire MR images during interventional procedures, accordingto Picker. Potential applications include interventional breastand other biopsies, orthopedic surgery, craniofacial reconstructionand endoscopic surgery.

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