Materia Medica Malaysiana

August 14, 2008

Malaysian invention eases effects of knee surgery

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 11:23 am

NST: KANGAR: Researchers from Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) are offering relief to knee surgery patients.
A team from the university’s school of mechatronics engineering has developed a computer program for orthopaedic surgeons to use in surgeries involving the knee joints.
The software, known as the Virtual Arthroscopy Knee Reconstruction or VR-AKR, won a special humanitarian award at the annual Invention and New Products Exposition (Inpex) in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania in the United States.
The invention also won a gold and two silver medals in three other categories at the exposition in June.
In a nutshell, the software provides visual assistance to surgeons through the use of three-dimensional images of the knee joints during surgery. It has been developed specifically for arthroscopy knee construction.
Prof Dr Kenneth Sundaraj, who is leading the research team, said the VR-AKR would hopefully lessen the after-effects of knee surgery for patients.
He said medical specialists reported that about 65 per cent of patients with knee-related conditions complained of joint discomfort after surgery.
Sundaraj said the VR-AKR idea came about following the government’s call for more innovation in the biomedical sector.
“One of my interests is virtual reality and I want to heed the government’s call for more serious involvement in the biomedical sector. I feel engineers from various fields can contribute to biotechnology.”
Sundaraj holds a doctorate in robotics from the National Polytechnics Institute in Grenoble, France. He previously graduated in the same field from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Describing the win at Inpex as unexpected, Sundaraj said it was an honour to contest alongside inventors from more than 20 countries with almost 800 products.
Inpex, one of the biggest invention trade shows in the US, provides a platform for inventors to showcase their creations and establish links with companies interested in licensing, marketing and manufacturing their products.
“UniMAP’s dean of the school of engineering and the research unit, the deputy vice-chancellor of research and innovation and the vice-chancellor himself, have always supported my work. This victory is as much theirs as it is mine.”
Not one to rest on his laurels, Sundaraj and his research students will continue tweaking their invention to suit the ever-changing world of medical technology.
Following clinical trials in France, plans are under way for more tests at local medical institutions.
“We have shown it to surgeons in France. It received good response there. We are now seeking partners in Malaysia.”

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