A compact stereotactic system for image-guided surgical intervention

Aaron E. Rusheen, Abhijeet S. Barath, Abhinav Goyal, J. Hudson Barnett, Benjamin T. Gifford, Kevin E. Bennet, Charles D. Blaha, Stephan J. Goerss, Yoonbae Oh, Kendall H. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. Stereotactic technology enables fine navigation to small structures in the human body. While current stereotactic systems facilitate accurate targeting, they are mechanically cumbersome and limited in scope. Here, we hypothesized that a stereotactic system could be developed with a reduced footprint while maintaining broad targeting capabilities in order to improve versatility in frame placement location and surgical workflow. Approach. We designed a stereotactic system around the center-of-arc principle, with mechanical properties that would enable a compact design and ample targeting and trajectory maneuverability. To examine the opportunity for a low-cost rapidly-deployable system we developed two fabrication variants, one using three dimensional (3D)-printing and the other using conventional machining. Mechanical and image-guided accuracies were tested in phantom studies using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography. Using human cadaver head specimens, we assessed the system’s surgical workflow and its ability to reliably and accurately implant electrodes in deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery. Main results. We developed a small 7.7 × 5.4 cm2 device platform that rigidly mounts to curvilinear bone and supports the attachment of surgical instrumentation. Attachment of two surgical instruments, an imaging localizer and a compact targeting device, demonstrated successful MRI-guided intervention in phantom studies with a vector error of 1.79 ± 0.41 mm. Evaluation of the 3D-printed system for DBS surgery confirmed ease of device platform attachment and instrument functionality, as well as demonstrated a surgical targeting accuracy of 1.83 ± 0.15 mm. In addition, we found the surgical time to be 78.3 ± 5.4 min for bilateral electrode implantation. Significance. We developed a light and compact stereotactic system whose accuracy is on par with those used clinically. This technology is suitable for clinical translation and its flexibility in positioning will seamlessly expand the capabilities for stereotaxy to treat a wide range of conditions, both within neurosurgery and beyond.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number066014
JournalJournal of neural engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 16 2020


  • 3D-printing
  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Image-guidance
  • Stereotaxy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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