“Science for business”, episode 2: How VR and 3D technologies can help in the surgery field

13 March 2021

How can virtual and augmented reality and 3D technologies be implemented and how a joint project with the participation of experts in both fields can help in the surgery field? That was talked about by the scientists from Sofia Tech Park’s 3D Creativity and New Products Rapid Prototyping Lab and Virtual and Augmented Reality Lab – the engineer and doctorate student Blagovest Zlatev and assistant professor Dimo Chotrov. The series “Science for business” is a joint project by Sofia Tech Park and Bulgarian National Television aimed at popularizing science, Bulgarian scientists and their achievements in different science fields. In the show hosted by the popular host of BNT Nadya Obretenova, the leading researchers of the Laboratory complex in Sofa Tech Park discuss the latest scientific discoveries from around the world and talk about the developments and projects that they work on. They also comment scientific topics of the day.

“Medical reconstruction of parts of the human body using technologies such as 3D and mixed reality can be used in the medical students’ training and in complex surgical procedures.” Explained Blagovest Zlatev, expert in 3D technologies. “The main advantage of this method is that it allows to be done various analyses, research, simulations and tests without physical contact with the patient. The doctors can do the pre-surgical preparation and in some cases the technology cam be implemented even during the surgery lowering the chance of errors.” made clear Dimo Chotrov, member of the Virtual and Augmented Reality Lab’s team. The two scientists pointed out that the method has already been presented to medical professionals. “So far, we have a positive response and we are ready to implement the method on real patients.” said Chotrov.

The technology includes the use of VR headsets that allow to be seen not only the surrounding environment but also the layered additional reality. “The doctor or the student is able to walk around the virtual model, to interact with it, to cross through different layers of body tissue which will help surgeons to make an assessment how to position them and their instruments in the best possible way.” Explained Chotrov. The technology can be applied in high-risk surgeries, such as brain surgeries for example.

The VR lab also works on other project aimed at popularizing the cultural and historical heritage of our country. “Using augmented reality, we make reconstructions of exhibition pieces of National historical museum Sofia, The regional historical museum Sofia and the Archeological museum’s collections. These objects will be found on the website pages of the institutions.”

Blagovest Zlatev, member of 3D Creativity and New Products Rapid Prototyping Lab’s team, talked about the team’s successful project – in the beginning of March 2020, team jointed efforts with a big Bulgarian company to design and manufacture a mold tool for safety goggles. This was done within just two weeks.

You can watch the whole interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqqoK_PD2Lc

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