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NASA & Skullbase Institute, Working together on the instruments of change
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Skull Base Institute and Nasa

A Joint Venture For The Future Of Endoscopic Brain Surgery

Dr. Hrayr Shaninian is again at the forefront of research and development in the next phase of minimally invasive brain and skull base surgery. The only surgeon working with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA to develop the next generation of endoscopic tools, he is creating "super instruments," revolutionary tools that will bring together sweeping advancements in digital imaging, 3D endoscopy, tactile feedback, heads-up displays and smart micro - and nanotechnology. Dr. Shahinian's goal is to develop the most state-of-the-art tools for the least-invasive and most effective outcomes possible. While others embrace endoscopic surgery, Dr. Shahinian and SBI continue to take the field to the next level by innovating with newer tools, broader applications and a focus on patient recovery.

Itís called MARVEL:
Multi-Angle Rear-Viewing Endoscopic Tool


As good as a state-of-the-art, high-definition endoscope is, it can only give surgeons a clear panoramic view at a fixed angle - zero, 30 or 70 degrees - and it can only display its finding on a flat 2D monitor that lacks a sense of depth.

Now, with MARVEL, the surgeon will be able to use an instrument with a tip that rotates 160 degrees, allowing a 3D view of the tumor from all angles or even maintaining a primary frontal view.

MARVEL includes a tiny-electronic, high-definition camera, as well as a miniature radio transmitter, both mounted on the tip of the endoscope. Although the technology previously existed for cameras this size, this will be the first application that has adopted its use for 3D endoscopes.

The image transmitted from MARVEL can appear on the same monitor as the conventional endoscope, allowing a "picture in picture" effect and giving the surgeon superior visibility, depth perception and the ability to place surgical tools with the utmost precision.

The benefits are significant: Smaller cameras and thinner instruments allow for even smaller incisions and even less disruption to surrounding tissues and structures. In addition, by seeing the tumor in 3D and high definition, surgeons are more likely to be able to achieve a more complete resection.





MARVEL: Multi-Angle Rear-Viewing Endoscopic tool.

The result of a six-year collaboration between NASA Scientists and Skull Base Institute, the pioneers of minimally invasive brain surgery, brings us the newest innovation in endoscopic surgical instrumentation.

Introducing MARVEL (Multi-Angle Rear-Viewing Endoscopic tool), the world's first 3D, high-definition endoscope under 4mm with rotating tip.



Marvel was recently awarded one of NASA's Top Ten Innovations of the Year and regarded by many as the next great advancement in medical technology.

Marvel's on-board camera features 3D stereoscopic lenses that create an immersive environmnet, allowing surgeons to view a virtual reality of the human body for the first time. Joystick controls permit 120-degree panoramic views, enabling Marvel visualization that can go where no other scope has gone before - seeing around tumors and structures with unparalleled safety.
Facial Pain, Spasm and Paralysis Center (Facial PSP Center) Endoscopic skull base and brain tumor research and published papers: Skull Base Institute