The Department of Neurosurgery at the Inselspital is one of the largest of its kind in Switzerland. It offers the full range of neurosurgical interventions from oncological surgery to vascular, spinal, functional and paediatric neurosurgery.
Clinical and translational research on brain tumours are the mainstay of our department`s research activity as a result of a close collaboration with neuro-radiologists, neuropsychologists, electro-physiologists and neuro-pathologists, as well as with partners in technical universities and the industry
Our research team established and continuously refines one of the most advanced concepts of intra-operative electrophysiology. The combination and integration of various state-of-the-art technologies such as pre-operative TMS, intra-operative MR navigation and continuous mapping and monitoring of brain function feed crucial information on essential brain function into the neurosurgical microscope and to the tip of the surgeon’s fingers.
The Department of Neurosurgery in collaboration with the ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research and the Center for Movement Disorder investigates options to improve and facilitate the application of deep brain stimulation (DBS) as a therapy for movement disorders and neuro-psychiatric diseases. The team currently investigates probabilistic stimulation maps, which help the surgeons place segmented DBS segmented leads.
The malpositioning of pedicle screws is a common problem that can cause neurologic and vascular damage or result in non-fusion of the instrumented spine segment. A malpositioning rate of up to 15% is known from the literature. Using intraoperative navigation, the rate of misplaced screws could be lowered but remains a problem in spinal fusion surgery. Together with the ARTORG, we are addressing this challenge by an intelligent robotic system. By using the complexity of vertebral anatomy like a "sensor map," the robotic drill is able to "feel" across the bone terrain and together with so-called electromyography (EMG) neuro monitoring can avoid obstacles including nerves and boundaries of the vertebrae.
Another main research project is the development of a personal learning environment, known as the Ability Academic Software Suite project. This new software will help physicians master the vast amount of medical information into valuable medical knowledge. It will enable users to search, find, catalog, process, and study documents that are of long-term interest. In current practice, physicians either create a physical library of textbooks, hardcopy journals, and printed PDFs or increasingly build a digital archive. Both however, fail with time because of ever-increasing amounts of documents. There is also a need to share documents and comments between colleagues within such a system. Our aim is to provide a solution that is suitable for most medical subspecialties. Further applications may be found in life sciences and researchers in general.
Prof. Dr. med. Philippe Schucht
Prof. Dr. Kaspar Schindler