Tag Archives: anatomy

Science Research Technology

Ideas brought to life in Anatomy

Incisions and insights workshop series – „Heart, lungs, thorax“

Ideas brought to life in Anatomy

Workshop „Incisions and insights“ at the Institute of Clinical Anatomy and Cell Analysis (Source: M. Latz/BioRegio STERN Management GmbH)

(Stuttgart/Tübingen) – The „Incisions and insights – medtech engineers and medical practitioners in dialogue“ workshop series continued in June 2018, focusing on the heart, lungs and thorax. BioRegio STERN Management GmbH is organising this exceptional series of events in collaboration with the Inter-University Center for Medical Technologies Stuttgart-Tübingen (IZST) and the Verein zur Förderung der Biotechnologie und Medizintechnik e. V. (Society for the Promotion of Biotechnology and Medical Technology). This fourth event once again saw medical directors and senior consultants meet with medtech engineers directly at operating tables in Anatomy to discuss the innovations they desire and need.

The specialists from University Hospital Tübingen have already dubbed the series of events „Make a wish“, as it gives them the opportunity to express their wishes to medtech engineers for new or improved instruments and equipment unfiltered by purchasing or marketing departments. The fourth workshop in the series focused on the heart, lungs and thorax. Alongside the live streaming of surgery and practical exercises in the operating theatre at the Institute of Clinical Anatomy and Cell Analysis, the medical directors and senior consultants from University Hospital Tübingen Dr. Helene Häberle, Senior Consultant Surgeon at the Intensive Care Unit, Prof. Alfred Königsrainer, Medical Director of General, Visceral and Transplant Surgery, Prof. Christian Schlensak, Medical Director of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, and Prof. Roland Syha, Head of Interventional Radiology, discussed potential innovations. During this session, Prof. Peter P. Pott, Head of the Institute of Medical Device Technology at the University of Stuttgart, explained what is technically feasible. Prof. Arnulf Stenzl, Medical Director of the University Department of Urology and Head of the Inter-University Center for Medical Technologies Stuttgart-Tübingen (IZST), co-chaired the workshop together with the host Prof. Bernhard Hirt, Director of the Institute of Clinical Anatomy and Cell Analysis. Around 40 medtech company representatives attended the event, which offered them an impressive range of incisions and insights.

A surgeon got straight to work on artificial heart implantation and minimally invasive lung and oesophagus surgery on an anatomical specimen. While feeding a tube into the trachea, he explained to the medtech engineers – and to medical students linked via live stream – why a second working channel would be useful: „A further piece of equipment, such as forceps, often needs to be inserted. This may also result in bleeding, which blocks the one channel.“ During the subsequent demonstration of a minimally invasive lobectomy – the removal of an organ lobe – the operating team explained the need for a second camera in order to monitor inside the thorax from an additional angle. A stapler that can attach staples and bend 90 degrees was also added to the wish list, as was a cleaning function for the camera lens. However, the surgeons‘ discussion with Prof. Pott quickly revealed that much of what is technically feasible is not at all practicable in everyday surgery. „Extra functions require cables and switches. Yet at the same time, the equipment is expected to become increasingly smaller and easier to handle.“ Physical limitations also curb miniaturisation: „A camera lens can only be reduced in size to a certain extent, otherwise it no longer transmits anything,“ explained Prof. Pott.

The subsequent artificial heart transplant once again showed that the surgeons attach great importance to small and agile instruments to open up the chest as little as possible, as this is often associated with major discomfort for patients. To implant the 200-gramme artificial heart, just two incisions are needed. Unfortunately, one of these remains permanently open, as the control and battery power cables need to be fed outside. „Of course there’s already the option of a cable-free power supply for hearing aids, for example,“ said Prof. Pott. „If this fails, the patient no longer hears anything. But if this fails in the case of the heart, the patient expires.“

The demand for innovation is therefore high, giving developers and users plenty to discuss, and this is unlikely to be exhausted at the next event in February 2019, which will focus on „Extremities and the musculoskeletal system“. „As far as we know, there’s no comparable event anywhere else in the world,“ explained Dr. Klaus Eichenberg, co-organiser and Managing Director of BioRegio STERN Management GmbH. „Surgeons are calling for new processes and instruments. I’m confident the local medtech businesses will take up this challenge and bring to life some of the ideas that were first formulated here.“

About BioRegio STERN Management GmbH:
BioRegio STERN Management GmbH promotes economic development in the life sciences industry, helping to strengthen the region as a business location by supporting innovations and start-up companies in the public interest. It is the main point of contact for company founders and entrepreneurs in the Stuttgart and Neckar-Alb regions, including the cities of Tübingen and Reutlingen.
The STERN BioRegion is one of the largest and most successful bioregions in Germany. Its unique selling points include a mix of biotech and medtech companies that is outstanding in Germany and regional clusters in the fields of automation technology and mechanical engineering.

Company-Contact
BioRegio STERN Management GmbH
Dr. Klaus Eichenberg
Friedrichstrasse 10
70174 Stuttgart
Phone: +49 (0)711-870354-0
E-Mail: info@bioregio-stern.de
Url: http://www.bioregio-stern.de/en

Press
Zeeb Kommunikation GmbH
Anja Pätzold
Hohenheimer Strasse 58a
70184 Stuttgart
Phone: +49 (0)711-6070719
E-Mail: info@zeeb.info
Url: http://www.zeeb-kommunikation.de

Science Research Technology

Surgeons only have two hands too

„Incisions and insights“ – medtech engineers and medical practitioners in dialogue at abdominal surgery workshop

Surgeons only have two hands too

„Incisions and insights“ workshop, which focused on abdominal surgery (Source: BioRegio STERN/Michael Latz)

(Stuttgart/Tübingen) – Once again, the Stuttgart and Tübingen Inter-University Centre for Medical Technology (IZST) and the Verein zur Förderung der Biotechnologie und Medizintechnik e. V. (Society for the Promotion of Biotechnology and Medical Technology) in conjunction with BioRegio STERN Management GmbH played host to developers from medtech companies at the „Incisions and insights“ workshop. The event, which focused on abdominal surgery, adopted an interdisciplinary approach and brought together disciplines such as general, visceral, transplant and paediatric surgery, paediatric urology, clinical anatomy and cell analysis, diagnostic and interventional radiology, thoracic and cardiovascular surgery, urology and gynaecology.

With live streaming of surgery and practical exercises in the clinical anatomy operating theatre, the „Incisions and insights“ event is anything other than ordinary. To highlight typical operating theatre problems to developers from medtech companies and work with them to look for solutions, a total of six medical directors from the University Hospital of Tübingen discussed the issues at the operating table with the invited specialists – Prof. Jörg Fuchs, Medical Director of Paediatric Surgery and Paediatric Urology, Prof. Alfred Königsrainer, Medical Director of General, Visceral and Transplant Surgery, Prof. Christian Schlensak, Medical Director of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Prof. Arnulf Stenzl, Medical Director of Urology, Prof. Bernhard Krämer, Deputy Medical Director of Gynaecology, and Prof. Fabian Bamberg, Deputy Medical Director of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology. Prof. Bernhard Hirt, Director of the Institute of Clinical Anatomy and Cell Analysis at the University of Tübingen, hosted and chaired the workshop and welcomed the numerous guests in the auditorium and the students and medical practitioners linked via live stream with this statement of principle: „We aren“t showing you the perfect operation and anatomy – instead, we’re showing you the real challenges.“

Surgeons only have two hands too
The reality of intraperitoneal surgery in the abdominal structure covered by the peritoneum and in the retroperitoneum, the region behind the peritoneum and the abdomen itself, includes the need for retractors which keep the operating area open to remove a tumour in the kidneys or ovaries, for example. The surgeons` wish list for this standard medtech instrument was amazingly long. The retractors should be more adjustable to enable the position to be changed more easily during an operation. They should not be made only of metal, as this may damage tissue, but should instead be manufactured from softer materials. They should be translucent, provide a source of light themselves and have additional analysis functions. A surgeon summed up the demands in the following words: „We actually need eight hands. Multifunctional refractors would be better than assistants, who may get in the way in some circumstances.“

It’s dark down there
Two consultants demonstrated a „live“ incision of an abdomen and the use of retractors in the Anatomy operating theatre in order to highlight the next challenge – „it’s dark down there,“ as one of them put it, summing up the problem of visualisation and lighting. The solution from the consultants“ perspective? The lighting should be combined with a camera system so that everyone involved in an operation has the same view of the patient. The camera should be able to follow the surgeon’s hand automatically. It would be best if loupes and headlights were combined into one small, lightweight system with a camera using chip technology. As in the first workshop, a clear desire was expressed for a tablet solution to visualise the operating theatre scenario so that surgeons do not need to turn to look at monitors during surgery: „The surgeon’s view of the abdomen should be transmitted directly to an iPad placed right next to the incision,“ said Prof. Stenzl in a call to the developers and other guests.

Small instruments, patients too large – small patients, instruments too large
On one hand, instruments for minimally invasive operations, such as laparoscopy, are set to become increasingly smaller. On the other hand, patients in Central Europe are becoming more and more obese, and there is a lack of instruments that can be adjusted in size. The medtech sector also faces unresolved challenges for the smallest patients, as Prof. Fuchs regretted: „Unfortunately, no miniaturised instruments are available for minimally invasive surgery for babies. A lot still needs to be done in this area.“

Intelligent patching. Stitching that takes care of itself
Yet surgeons aren’t just looking for innovations for instruments but also for materials. While patches for closing arteries have for decades been made of synthetics, for a long time now intensive research has been carried out into tissue engineering solutions to biologise materials. Closing and, in particular, stitching are a genuinely controversial issue for surgeons. Ligatures, shutting off vessels etc., have to be performed under extremely difficult conditions in terms of light and the position in the abdomen. For the patient, it is essential that stitches are secure. The medtech engineers were thus called upon to look for alternatives to traditional vascular suture.

The medtech engineers and medical professionals therefore had much to discuss at the operating tables in Anatomy. „Once again, we struck a chord with this workshop,“ said a delighted Dr. Klaus Eichenberg, co-organiser and Managing Director of BioRegio STERN Management GmbH. „Following the first event last year, concrete development projects have already been initiated at medtech companies. And I’m confident that head and throat surgery will also provide inspiration for new ideas among developers in the year ahead.“

About BioRegio STERN Management GmbH:
BioRegio STERN Management GmbH is a skill-sharing network, providing a help and ad-vice centre for founders of new businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers in the life sciences sector in the cities of Stuttgart, Tübingen, Esslingen and Reutlingen and the Stuttgart and Neckar-Alb regions. BioRegio STERN Management GmbH represents the interests of these market players in dealings with political circles, the media and associations and provides advice on grant applications and corporate financing. Key focal points include regenerative medicine, medical technology and the automation of biotechnology. Managing Director Dr. Klaus Eichenberg is a molecular and cell biologist and investment analyst.

Company-Contact
BioRegio STERN Management GmbH
Klaus Eichenberg
Friedrichstrasse 10
70174 Stuttgart
Phone: +49 (0)711-870354-0
E-Mail: info@bioregio-stern.de
Url: http://www.bioregio-stern.de/en

Press
Zeeb Kommunikation GmbH
Anja Pätzold
Hohenheimer Straße 58a
70174 Stuttgart
Phone: +49 (0)711-6070719
E-Mail: info@zeeb.info
Url: http://www.zeeb.info