VinUniversity’s Surgical Navigation Tools: Bone Endoscopic by 3D Technology Won 2nd Prize in the 2022 Creative Science Contest

May 26, 2022

Recently, VinUniversity’s Biomedical 3D Printing Research Center’s Surgical Navigation Tools: Bone Endoscopic by 3D technology (i.e. Patient Specific Instrument – PSI) received the 2nd Prize in the 2022 Creative Science Contest, out of over 100 projects nationwide. “This is a technique and invention never before done in Vietnam, and no similar research has ever been published worldwide.” – proudly shared Dr. Pham Trung Hieu, Vice-Director of Biomedical 3D printing Research Center, VinUniversity, Leading Specialist in Orthopedics, with a specialization in hip and knee surgery, foot and ankle surgery, hand surgery, and joint surgery.

Madam Bui Thanh Van, Head of the Contest’s Organizing Committee awarding the prize to VinUniversity representative. Photo: VnExpress

Dr. Pham Trung Hieu and his partners developed this PSI in order to thoroughly remove the tumor without damaging the patient’s cartilage or bones during surgery. In normal bone surgeries, patients may encounter difficulties in tumor removal. There may be tumors that lie within the bone and beneath the joints, which require joint removal or drilling of the bone, based on the doctor’s experience and x-ray analysis. Such operations can cause secondary bone breakages and risk of tumor recurrence.

According to Dr. Hieu, the research team’s device can reduce the risk of harming patients.

The red tunnel is modeled with high accuracy 3D technology for surgery.

The group conducts research on bone cyst disease, which occurs when the patient plays sports or exercises too much, resulting in damage to the bone follicles in the slug bone near the ankle. Before a surgery, the group uses 3D modeling to replicate the patient’s bone structure on the computer. They then design a “tunnel” connecting the surface to the exact center of the tumor within the bone. From this, doctors can start performing the surgery on the model. Taking into account all factors, doctors can base their surgery on the model, resulting in a low margin of error of only 0,1mm.

“With slug bone cyst surgeries, accuracy is almost absolute,” Dr. Hieu noted.

The team shared that the time required for this type of surgery is about 2-3 days, of which modeling takes 1-2 hours, model design takes 1-2 days and surgery on patients takes 1 -2 hours. The cost for modeling is approximately 2-2.5 million per case.

The team successfully implemented this on 4 patients with bone cysts at Vinmec Hanoi Hospital. After 2-3 days, the patients were able to recover and live normally without any cases of recurrence.

This PSI is an improved method that increases the possibility of success during procedures and is recognized by the Ministry of Health. 

Prof. Tran Trung Dung, Director of the Northern Center for Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Medicine, Vinmec; Chairman of the VinUniversity Orthopedic Department and Director of Biomedical 3D printing Research Center, VinUniversity, shared that the bone follicle is small yet extremely important as it lies deep inside the ankle. Therefore, bone cyst surgery requires an accurate 3D positioning solution. The creation of a computer-based PSI ensures absolute accuracy and minimum risk for patients.

“We highly appreciate the solution proposed by Dr.Hieu’s team as this is the basis for performing other surgeries on lesions located deep in the body that require precise navigation aids based on 3D technology”, commented Prof. Dung.

This solution was also highly appreciated by the judges of the 2022 Creative Science Contest organized by VnExpress. The research is meaningful and creates valuable opportunities for patients. The organizers had awarded the 2nd Prize – worth 30 million VND – to the team. The Creative Science Contest is an annual contest organized by VnExpress as a way of contributing to the promotion of creativity among young scientists, honoring breakthrough products and meaningful ideas that provide positive socio-economic impacts.

Find out more about the project HERE.

Read more about VinUniversity’s Biomedical 3D Printing Research Center HERE.