High schoolers managed to develop a neurosurgery simulator under the supervision of the lecturer of USMU 08-02-2021 News

The educational center “Sirius” (Sochi) had summed up the results of the 5th Ural project shift, within the framework of which teams of talented high Schoolers from the Sverdlovsk region worked on their innovative projects under the guidance of mentors. The jury has pointed out “Spine neurosurgery simulator “, presented by the team of Pavel Oshurkov, a neurosurgeon at the City Clinical Hospital No. 40 in Yekaterinburg, assistant at the Department of Nervous Diseases, Neurosurgery and Medical Genetics of the Ural State Medical University (USMU) as one of the best.

The simulator, tentatively titled “VertebrON”, is designed to practice basic microsurgical skills among students, residents, and physicians who are enrolled in advanced neurosurgery programs.

Back pain is a common problem of humanity, “our payment for bipedalism “. Osteochondrosis is a formidable disabling disease, which is rather difficult to treat and sometimes requires surgical treatment. Spine surgeries account for about half of the surgical interventions in neurosurgery,”said Pavel Oshurkov.

According to the specialist, spinal surgeries are associated with great surgical risks. The higher the experience of the surgeon, the lower the chances of realizing these risks and complications. That is why it seems relevant to create a restarting simulator for practicing the main stages of spinal surgery.

“The idea of creating a simulator comes directly from the consumer – operating neurosurgeons, simulation centers, and the analogs available today do not meet all the requirements,” explained the assistant of the USMU department.

The prototype of the “VertebrON” simulator created on the replacement made it possible to simulate various complex intraoperative situations, microanatomy of the spinal canal, while remaining accessible. At the same time, the simulator was made reusable, providing for the possibility of easy replacement of its main components if they are damaged. In addition, replaceable components and the simulator device make it possible to work out several types of surgical interventions, noted Pavel Oshurkov.

In the process of work, ideas of options for improving the prototype and mass production arose, and the first feedback from specialists who appreciated the video recordings of the work on the simulator showed the prospects of the project. It is important that the simulator was made interactive by teaching it to control the likely errors of the surgeon. An alert system is provided to control the actions of a specialist and provide feedback.

The project turned out to be multidisciplinary: in the team, in addition to future doctors, there were guys focused on design, information technology, and electronics. The competent work of schoolchildren in a team has become the key to success at the stages of the project, Pavel Oshurkov is sure. Each team member fulfilled his role, coming to the aid of colleagues in difficult moments:

“The project is interdisciplinary and very non-trivial, the tasks were not easy. The students’ skills, of course, were not sufficient, so we resorted to the advice of our colleagues, specialists in other fields of science.”

The Ural Project Shift is an educational project of the Ural Federal University, implemented with the support of the government of the Sverdlovsk Region. In 2021, 75 students of grades 8-11, who passed the competitive selection, were engaged in the shift. Within three weeks, from January 8 to January 28, in the educational center “Sirius” 15 projects were developed in priority scientific and technological areas “Preventive Medicine”, “Smart City”, “New Technologies” under the guidance of mentors from UrFU, Ural State Medical University, NPO Avtomatiki.

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