Preoperative images visualization and computer-assisted surgical planning come within subjects already probed and which will be brought to develop greatly in the future. The topic approached by the Mercator project is rather the intra- and post-operative follow-up, field in which there is still a lot to make. Moreover, an more cognitive atlas based approach will be used.
The planning of a surgical operation or a radiotherapy is carried out by using pre-operative images of the patient. However, during the surgical act or the radiotherapy, the patient can be brought to move and the concerned bodies to become deformed.
Within this framework, the Mercator project aims at updating the plannings made before the operation by integrating real-time information resulting from intra-operative events in order to readjust the plans and the initial data on the real evolution during the operation or the radiotherapy.
In practice, the Mercator project covers two great medical fields: neurosurgery and neck precision radiotherapy. The end product will be integrated in a Linux visualization station :
a) The Brain (neurosurgery) : This part will include studies on a statistical atlas and a bio-mechanic model of the brain and co-registration between pre- and intra-operative images.
b) The Neck (precision radiotherapy) : The final goal is to set up a neck atlas wich will let us to do precise co-registration of different imaging modalities (MRI, CT, PET) in order to better segment and follow tumours' evolution during the radiotherapy.
c) The Visualization Station : Integration of the modules "brain" and "neck" in a viewer using VTK (Visualization Toolkit) under Linux.
The Mercator project is financed by the Région Walonne funds.
Some work done at TCTS Lab
You can see a video concerning the Mercator Project at : http://tcts.fpms.ac.be/videos/tcts.html