2013 Summer Project Week:Application of Statistical Shape Modeling to Robot Assisted Spine Surgery

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Home < 2013 Summer Project Week:Application of Statistical Shape Modeling to Robot Assisted Spine Surgery

Key Investigators

  • Swiss Federal Institute of Technology EPFL: Marine Clogenson, Charles Baur
  • KB Medical: Szymon Kostrzewski


The goal of the project is to generate a 3D model of the C2 cervical vertebra for surgery planning. An atlas-based segmentation technique is used to obtain the 3D model and we need to verify if this method can generate the accuracy required to perform C1-C2 transarticular screw placement.

Approach, Plan

A first module for statistical atlas building will be implemented which regroups all the different steps needed for its creation: alignment, registration, model building. Statismo, a framework for statistical shape modeling, and a Gaussian process for the registration will be used. A second module will be dedicated for atlas-based segmentation of the C2 vertebra in order to generate a 3D model for surgery planning. A C++ code for building an atlas has already been implemented using Statismo. Its integration in Slicer is currently under development. A database of 37 CT images is prepared for creating the atlas.


  • Integration of Statismo (external library) in the building process (SuperBuild) in the Slicer extension developed during the project week. It works on Linux and one library issue need to be resolved on Mac.
  • The CLI module for Atlas Building works and it is possible to display the variation of C2 vertebra following mode of variation.
  • A scripted module to facilitate the manual segmentation of the C2 vertebra is under development.

Delivery Mechanism

This work will be delivered to the NA-MIC Kit as a Slicer Module


  • Luethi, M., Blanc, R., Albrecht, T., Gass, T., Goksel, O., Buechler, P., Kistler, M., Bousleiman, H., Reyes, M., Cattin, P., Vetter, T. Statismo – A framework for PCA based statistical models. In The Insight Journal, 2012