We are creating a revolutionary training and planning platform for neurosurgeons.

It's all in the head!

"Medical EDUcation in Surgical Aneurysm Clipping" (MEDUSA) is the medical technology flagship project in Upper Austria, which is funded with 2.3 million euros. The aim is to develop a hybrid simulator that provides neurosurgeons a versatile and maximally realistic training opportunity by combining the real and virtual worlds.

The brain is the most complex organ in the human body. Surgical interventions in the brain are among the most difficult and complex ones and pose a major challenge for surgeons. Millimetres can decide whether a patient recovers or has to live with impairments in the future. In extreme cases, it is a matter of life and death. Precision is the decisive criterion in neurosurgery. In recent years, state-of-the-art medical technology and highly trained physicians have contributed significantly to increasing safety and thus the proportion of positive surgical outcomes. Thanks to new technologies, experts see opportunities for progress in training and planning of interventions.

Austria's neurosurgeons are already among the best in the world. Especially with the engagement of the internationally recognised specialist for cerebrovascular neurosurgery and neurosurgical intensive care, Univ.-Prof. Dr. Andreas Gruber, the Kepler University Hospital has consolidated its reputation as the leading and largest centre of excellence in the country.

„It is great that we have this flagship project in Upper Austria. MEDUSA catapults us right to the top in research and development.“
Interview with Univ.-Prof. Dr. Andreas Gruber, Head of the Department for Neurosurgery, Neuromed Campus, Kepler University Hospital Linz

A hybrid neurosurgical training and planning platform will combine the real and virtual worlds to create versatile and realistic training opportunities. Surgeons can thus haptically feel the artificially created patient and see inside, otherwise invisible anatomical structures in the form of virtually generated holograms. The mixed reality application created by the MEDUSA project is intended to be used in the training of young surgeons as well as for the pre-operative planning and training of patient-specific interventions, incorporating real patient data.

About microsurgical aneurysm clipping

Two methods have become established in the treatment of intracranial aneurysms: endovascular coiling and microsurgical clipping. They complement each other, depending on the size, shape, and location of the aneurysm in question. In about two-thirds of cases, the treating physicians decide to close the aneurysm sac with platinum coils that are placed via the vessel path with a microcatheter (coiling). This is considered a gentler therapy with slightly lower complication rates. However, about one third of the cases require opening the skull and closing the aneurysm with one or more clips (clipping). In this way, even complex aneurysms that cannot be treated endovascularly can be eliminated. The operation, which often takes three to six hours, is performed under the microscope.

Project news

The MEDUSA blog keeps you up to date with 13 consortium partners: Project progress, events and successes.

Medical EDUcation in Surgical Aneurysm clipping

In close cooperation with students from the bachelor’s degree program in Media Technology and Design at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Campus Hagenberg, a MEDUSA project video was produced. We would like to thank them for the excellent cooperation and the great result.

Medical device regulation as an anchor point for high-quality product development

How can the requirements of the Medical Device Regulation (MDR) provide helpful input for the development of a safe, effective, and high-quality neurosurgical simulator?

Classification of a simulator

The absence of patient contact does not really make things easier.