VolumetricOR | Surgical Innovation
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Our paper "VolumetricOR: A new Approach to Simulate Surgical Interventions in Virtual Reality for Training and Education" is available in the latest issue of Surgical Innovation.

Surgical training is primarily carried out through observation during assistance or on-site classes, by watching videos as well as by different formats of simulation. The simulation of physical presence in the operating theatre in virtual reality might complement these necessary experiences. A prerequisite is a new education concept for virtual classes that communicates the unique workflows and decision-making paths of surgical health professions (i.e. surgeons, anesthesiologists, and surgical assistants) in an authentic and immersive way. For this project, media scientists, designers and surgeons worked together to develop the foundations for new ways of conveying knowledge using virtual reality in surgery.
A technical workflow to record and present volumetric videos of surgical interventions in a photorealistic virtual operating room was developed. Situated in the virtual reality demonstrator called VolumetricOR, users can experience and navigate through surgical workflows as if they are physically present . The concept is compared with traditional video-based formats of digital simulation in surgical training.

VolumetricOR let trainees experience surgical action and workflows a) three-dimensionally, b) from any perspective and c) in real scale. This improves the linking of theoretical expertise and practical application of knowledge and shifts the learning experience from observation to participation.
Discussion: Volumetric training environments allow trainees to acquire procedural knowledge before going to the operating room and could improve the efficiency and quality of the learning and training process for professional staff by communicating techniques and workflows when the possibilities of training on-site are limited.

Authors are Moritz Queisner, Michael Pogorzhelskiy, Christopher Remde, Johann Pratschke, and Igor M. Sauer.
Future Medicine 2017
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What’s trending? What’s new in health science? To find out, please save the date for the second Future Medicine in Berlin on November 7, 2017. Tagesspiegel and Berlin Institute of Health, together with Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, will feature outstanding international scientists, great visions of the future of medicine, and an exceptional concentration of knowledge. The four sessions of Future Medicine 2017 will be: 

Digital Health and Big Data
Precision Medicine and Predictive Models
Cell and Gene Therapies
Stem Cells and Human Disease Modeling  

Simon Moosburner, a student of medicine interested in regenerative medicine and future technologies, will talk about “Virtual & Mixed Reality: The Next Milestone in Surgery?” at Future Medicine 2017.
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Vascular anatomy of the juvenile Göttingen minipig
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Lab Animal accepted our „Computed tomography-based survey of the vascular anatomy of the juvenile Göttingen minipig“ for publication.

Over the past 50 years, image-guided procedures have been established for a wide range of applications. The development and clinical translation of new treatment regimens necessitate the availability of suitable animal models. The juvenile Göttingen minipig presents a favourable profile as a model for human infants. However, no information can be found regarding the vascular system of juvenile minipigs in the literature. Such information is imperative for planning the accessibility of target structures by catheterization.

We present here a complete mapping of the arterial system of the juvenile minipig based on contrast-enhanced computed tomography. Four female animals weighing 6.13 ± 0.72 kg were used for the analyses. Imaging was performed under anaesthesia, and the measurement of the vascular structures was performed independently by four investigators. Our dataset forms a basis for future interventional studies in juvenile minipigs, and enables planning and refinement of future experiments according to the 3R (replacement, reduction and refinement) principles of animal research.

Authors are J. Siefert, K.H. Hillebrandt, M. Kluge, D. Geisel, P. Podrabsky, T. Denecke, M. Nösser, J. Gassner, A. Reutzel-Selke, B. Strücker, M.H. Morgul, S. Guel-Klein, J.K. Unger, A. Reske, J. Pratschke, I.M. Sauer, and N. Raschzok.
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Our manuscript "Depletion of donor dendritic cells ameliorates immunogenicity of both skin and hind limb transplants" has been accepted for publication in Frontiers in Immunology, section Alloimmunity and Transplantation. Authors are Muhammad Imtiaz Ashraf, Joerg Mengwasser, Anja Reutzel-Selke, Dietrich Polenz, Kirsten Führer, Steffen Lippert, Peter Tang, Edward Michaelis, Rusan Catar, Johann Pratschke, Christian Witzel, Igor M. Sauer, Stefan G. Tullius, and Barbara Kern.

Acute cellular rejection remains a significant obstacle affecting successful outcomes of organ transplantation including vascularized composite tissue allografts (VCA). Donor antigen presenting cells (APC), particularly dendritic cells (DC), orchestrate early alloimmune responses by activating recipient effector T cells. Employing a targeted approach, we investigated the impact of donor-derived conventional DC (cDC) and APC on the immunogenicity of skin and skin-containing VCA grafts, using mouse models of skin and hind limb transplantation.
By post-transplantation day 6, skin grafts demonstrated severe rejections, characterized by predominance of recipient CD4 T cells. In contrast, hind limb grafts showed moderate rejection, primarily infiltrated by CD8 T cells. While donor depletion of cDC and APC reduced frequencies, maturation, and activation of DC in all analysed tissues of skin transplant recipients, reduction in DC activities was only observed in the spleen of hind limb recipients. Donor cDC and APC depletion did not impact all lymphocyte compartments but significantly affected CD8 T cells and activated CD4 T in lymph nodes of skin recipients. Moreover, both donor APC and cDC depletion attenuated the Th17 immune response, evident by significantly reduced Th17 (CD4+IL-17+) cells in the spleen of skin recipients and reduced levels of IL-17E and lymphotoxin-α in the serum samples of both skin and hind limb recipients. In conclusion, our findings underscore the highly immunogenic nature of skin component in VCA. The depletion of donor APC and cDC mitigates the immunogenicity of skin grafts while exerting minimal impact on VCA.




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