Physics-Based Head and Neck Surgical Simulation of Soft Tissue Manipulation

Award Information
Department of Health and Human Services
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
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Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
1010 WAYNE AVE, STE 940, SILVER SPRING, MD, 20910-
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator
 (301) 587-9440
Business Contact
Phone: (301) 587-9440
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): SimQuest LLC proposes to develop a physics-based head and neck simulator to enhance training of dental, endodontic, oral, maxillofacial, plastic, trauma, ENT, and other trainees and surgical educators. This Phase I workwill advance the state of the science in surgical education by establishing the foundation for a simulator that will greatly enhance surgical training, be usable in the curriculum of the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), and will pave the way for similar work in other areas. This large step forward in surgical education will enhance outcomes for patients, especially those with congenital facial defects, oral cancers, or traumatic facial injuries requiring reconstruction. The Specific Aims of this Phase I proposal are designed to address the critical technical areas that must be mastered to provide an effective simulation for use in teaching nerve repair, the first area of project focus. The three Specific Aims are (1) simulate accurate heterogeneous tissue of the facial region; (2) demonstrate the feasibility of an accurate, interactive, physics-based simulation of microsurgical repair; and (3) develop a prototype curricular structure for use in conjunction with the AAOMS to illustrate how an approach similar to what has SimQuest has done previously for the American College of Surgeons (ACS)/Association of Program Directors in Surgery (APDS) surgical curriculum can work. SimQuest's head and neck surgery simulator will be uniquely suited to training surgeons in the complex procedures needed for facial reconstruction surgery, which is largely accomplished via microsurgery. SimQuest's previous work, which demonstrates physically accurate real-time tool-tissue interaction for a number ofsurgical activities, will be used as the foundation for the proposed work. When complete, this simulation-based head and neck surgery training system will be an integral part of the curriculum of future head and neck surgeons, and will pave the way for amore effective means for new technology and techniques-facilitated advancements to be adopted into existing practice. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The physics-based head and neck simulator that will be made commercially available as a result of this project will fill a stated need for more effective training in head and neck surgery. This advance in surgical education will enhance training by standardizing curricula, automatically tracking and assessing performance using objective criteria, and allowingtrainees to practice to proficiency prior to operating on actual patients. Increased safety and better outcomes resulting from better trained surgeons will result in substantial cost savings as well as improved patient quality of life.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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