Transmission-Based Vertebrae Strength Probe Development: Far Field Probe Property Extraction and Integrated Machine Vision Distance Validation Experiments


We are developing a transmission-based probe for point-of-care assessment of vertebrae strength needed for fabricating the instrumentation used in supporting the spinal column during spinal fusion surgery. The device is based on a transmission probe whereby thin coaxial probes are inserted into the small canals through the pedicles and into the vertebrae, and a broad band signal is transmitted from one probe to the other across the bone tissue. Simultaneously, a machine vision scheme has been developed to measure the separation distance between the probe tips while they are inserted into the vertebrae. The latter technique includes a small camera mounted to the handle of one probe and associated fiducials printed on the other. Machine vision techniques make it possible to track the location of the fiducial-based probe tip and compare it to the fixed coordinate location of the camera-based probe tip. The combination of the two methods allows for straightforward calculation of tissue characteristics by exploiting the antenna far field approximation. Validation tests of the two concepts are presented as a precursor to clinical prototype development.

Sensors, 2023, 23, 4819
Bernd Pfrommer
Bernd Pfrommer
Independent Researcher

My research interests include computer vision, autonomous systems, event based cameras and machine learning