Comminuted Fracture Surgery Improvements using NASA Technology (Tonas, Spaceiscool)


Dan:
The NASA James Webb Space Telescope is a piece of technology that will prove itself extremely
useful in NASA’s mission to explore the early universe. The telescope showcases many
innovative features and technologies developed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Among these technologies are telescope lenses
that measure infrared light and convert it into images that scientists can view and analyze.
Since the infrared light it takes in has a larger wavelength than visible light, the
telescope essentially looks “back in time’ by receiving infrared waves emitted by the
Big Bang 13.8 Billion years ago. Tony:
Another technology NASA developed for use in the JWST was the Scanning Shack Hartmann
System, which was used in the mirror creation process for the telescope. Since the telescopes
need to be able to see extremely deep into space, mirrors created for it need to be precisely
crafted. The Scanning Shack Hartmann System was able to measure the surface of the mirrors
immediately after the grinding process to see if it was crafted into the correct curvature,
which saved large amounts of time during the construction process. This system spun off into the “iDesign Advanced
Wavescan Studio”, which is used to measure a patient’s eye before LASIK treatment and
create a visual guide for how to correct the patient’s vision. This spinoff decreased
the time needed for LASIK surgery and increased the accuracy of the procedure. Dan:
Another area that this software could be applied is surgery to repair comminuted fractures.
This is a fracture in which the bone is broken into several pieces. When a bone shatters like this the doctors
must perform a surgical operation to repair it. This includes cutting open the patient
at the point of injury and resetting the fragments back to their original place. Sometimes using
a special glue to keep them from breaking apart again. To make this process easier for
doctors we can use the Scanning Shack Hartmann technology to map a diagram of the fracture
and the bone fragments. This process would quickly create an image
of the fracture and show the doctors how the bone fragments should fit back together into
the main bone. If the fragments need to be “glued” back together, the diagram would
show how much glue to put in which spots. This system would make surgeries for comminuted
fractures more efficient and more accurate.

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