Patented surgical navigation tool opens new doors to minimally invasive interventions

Palo Alto 08 January 2001The United States Patent and Trademark Office recently issued a broad, enabling patent related to CBYON's surgical navigation technology, which is marketed as the CBYON SAVANT software suite to hospitals and surgeons, enabling them to see through internal body structures and guide surgical instruments during surgery.


On December 26th, 2000, United States Patent No. 6,167,296 entitled "Method for Volumetric Image Navigation" was issued to Stanford University. CBYON Inc. is the exclusive licensee of this patent from Stanford University, which also includes additional pending United States and foreign patent applications.

This patent gives medical technology specialist CBYON the exclusive right to generate images using perspective three-dimensional rendering and to utilise such method for correlating the medical images with live video endoscopic or microscopic images. Perspective volumetric imaging represents a significant breakthrough from conventional image-guided surgery technology, that only displays surface rendered images without incorporating data of the patient's internal anatomy in the appropriate perspective.

The 3D SAVANT imaging software gives surgeons true 3D X-ray vision. The technology covered by the patent generates the basis for the CBYON Image Enhanced Endoscopy module, which provides surgeons with more accurate and detailed information than ever before possible for performing minimally invasive surgeries.

"We are extremely pleased to receive this patent, since it protects our exclusivity in offering the world's first set of Surgical Anatomy Visualisation and Navigation Tools, known as the 3D SAVANT Suite", stated Mitchell Seyedin, Ph.D., CBYON President and Chief Executive Officer. "The 3D SAVANT Image Enhanced Endoscopy module is a proprietary product which displays a virtual anatomic image, which is both matched and synchronised with the same perspective of the actual endoscopic image. Initial FDA 510K cleared applications include neurosurgical; spine; and ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgeries, where a minimal disruption of tissues is critical to ensure patient safety."

The core-patented technology was developed by Ramin Shahidi, Ph.D., the Director of the Image Guidance Laboratories, Stanford Medical Center, and scientific founder of CBYON. The software is exclusively licensed to CBYON. The 3D SAVANT Suite provides the surgeon with the ability to operate with greater precision and accuracy, that may lead to improved patient outcomes, and enables the transformation of open surgical procedures into minimally invasive surgeries.

Dr. Ramin Shahidi explained that until very recently, the task of correlating preoperative two-dimensional Computed Tomography or Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans, and intra-operative x-ray or video images with the actual 3D anatomy of the surgical site depended on the individual surgeon's knowledge of anatomy and his surgical experience.

"Now, powerful CBYON software can perform that task for the surgeon and display the images in real time. Our recently issued patent covers 2 key technology features, which provide the surgeon with most powerful tools for minimally invasive procedures. First is the use of 3D perspective rendering for intra-operative image-based guidance of surgical instruments. Second, and most importantly, is the correlation of intra-operative video images like those from endoscopes or microscopes, with 3D perspective images rendered from preoperative or intra-operative scans."

John R. Adler, Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University, commented that a patient's anatomy does not look like a two-dimensional CT scan when viewed through an endoscope or microscope during surgery. Perspective 3D rendering combined with instrument tracking is therefore extremely useful to correlate the computer images visually to the real patient, as seen by the surgeon. "Surgeons performing minimally invasive surgeries in the brain and spine will benefit greatly from CBYON's perspective volumetric imaging. This means that patients benefit by less pain, fewer complications and faster recoveries."

By tracking surgical instruments in real time, the 3D SAVANT Suite shows exactly where the surgeon's tools are in relation to the patient's anatomy. It also is able to selectively display structures, such as blood vessels or other sensitive anatomical structures, that lie in the path of the surgical tool. 3D SAVANT offers true "3D X-ray vision", so surgeons can navigate around and view internal structures through opaque surface tissues which would not be visible if previously available image-guided surgery techniques were used.

A unique feature of 3D SAVANT forms video correlation for image-enhanced endoscopy, which provides the accuracy not possible through other means. This technology gives the surgeon real time, 3D and 2D information for both planning and navigational purposes and opens the door to more effective utilisation of minimally invasive surgeries. More news about the CBYON software is available in the VMW November 2000 article CBYON's SAVANT Suite makes surgeons see beyond skin and bones.

Leslie Versweyveld

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