Computer- and robot-assisted stereotaxy for high-precision small animal brain exploration / Computer- und robotergestützte Stereotaxie für hochpräzise Exploration des Kleintierhirns

Lukas Ramrath 1 , Simon Vogt 2 , Winnie Jensen 3 , Ulrich G. Hofmann 4 , and Achim Schweikard 5
  • 1 Institute for Robotics and Cognitive Systems, University of Luebeck, Luebeck, Germany
  • 2 Institute for Signal Processing, University of Luebeck, Luebeck, Germany
  • 3 Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
  • 4 Institute for Signal Processing, University of Luebeck, Luebeck, Germany
  • 5 Institute for Robotics and Cognitive Systems, University of Luebeck, Luebeck, Germany

Abstract

This contribution introduces a computer- and robot-assisted framework for stereotactic neurosurgery on small animals. Two major elements of this framework are presented in detail: a robotic stereotactic assistant and the software framework for placement of probes into the brain. The latter integrates modules for registration, insertion control, and preoperative path planning. Two options for path planning are addressed: (a) atlas-based planning and (b) image-based planning based on computed tomography data. The framework is tested performing robot-assisted insertion of microelectrodes and acquisition of electrophysiological recordings in vivo. Concepts for data analysis pointing towards a mapping of position and neural structure to functional data are introduced. Results show that the presented framework allows precise small animal stereotaxy and therefore offers new options for brain research.

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