Advanced Epidural Simulator with 3D Flexible Spine and Haptic Interface

Authors: Vaughan, N., Dubey, V.N., Wee, M.Y.K. and Isaacs, R.

Conference: Design of Medical Devices Conference 2012

Dates: 10-12 April 2012

Publisher: ASME

Place of Publication: Journal of Medical Devices


We are developing an advanced epidural simulator using a haptic interface and novel technologies. Epidural analgesia and anaesthesia is used in pain management in operative, chronic and childbirth pain. Our simulator will help train anaesthetists by realistically simulating the complete procedure starting with the needle advancing through the skin and ligaments, between vertebrae to the epidural space. Our first prototype uses a Novint Falcon haptic device connected to a 3D modelled graphical simulation. The novel aspects of our epidural simulator include 3D graphics, modeled vertebrae C1-L5 and spine flexibility. An immersive 3D monitor with polarized images allows visualization from various angles using zoom and rotate. Also, our simulator adjusts to match the height, weight, age and BMI of any patient. The haptic forces vary for each patient and are based on measured needle insertion data from a clinical trial. By introducing these novel aspects our simulator aims to improve the realism of epidural simulation and provide comprehensive training for epidural anaesthesia.

Source: Manual

Preferred by: Venky Dubey