A Surgical Simulator for Tympanostomy Tube Insertion Incorporating Capacitive Sensing Technology to Track Instrument Placement

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We describe a device engineered for realistic simulation of myringotomy and tympanostomy tube insertion that tracks instrument placement and objectively measures operator proficiency. A 3-dimensional computer model of the external ear and cartilaginous external auditory canal was created from a normal maxillofacial computed tomography scan, and models for the bony external auditory canal and tympanic cavity were created with computer-aided design software. Physical models were 3-dimensionally printed from the computer reconstructions. The external auditory canal and tympanic cavity surfaces were coated with conductive material and wired to a capacitive sensor interface. A programmable microcontroller with custom embedded software completed the system. Construct validation was completed by comparing the run times and total sensor contact times of otolaryngology faculty and residents.

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Otolaryngology--head and neck surgery : official journal of American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

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