Phantom Lab

Simulating the brain accurately means mimicking the brain of a living organism. The more realistic the simulation, the more likely it will help improve surgical skills. Moreover, training with simulators lacking realistic mechanical properties can lead to negative habit transfer with direct effects on patient safety. Our rheological analyses revealed significant differences in mechanical properties of cadaveric brain tissue compared to gelatin concentrations our neurosurgeons deemed to best simulate the mechanical properties of live brain tissue. This variance, most likely caused by preservation techniques and long-term absence of cerebral perfusion, further highlights the limitations to cadaveric simulation. By partnering with biomedical engineers, we were able to recreate the mechanical and physiological properties of the living brain using readily available and inexpensive materials. The result is a durable, portable, and reusable phantom that can be stored in a refrigerator for up to seven days without losing its anatomical or haptic properties, allowing the simulation of more delicate, nevertheless crucial steps of EVD placement such as a “pop” sensation when the ventricular surface is penetrated or the backflow of water as tactile and visual feedbacks.

realistic skull model – identify anatomical structures

haptic feedback – drilling the bone

improve spatial awareness – place drain

patent by CIRE

visual feedback – liquid back flow in drain

Building on the experience and success of our EVD simulator we were able to develop a novel physical simulator for intracranial Aneurysm clipping, currently in its final testing phase. All our models are being developed with the goal of providing students and young neurosurgeons around the globe with the opportunity to train and develop their skills in a controlled environment.

patent by CIRE

Wet Lab

Neurosurgical Anatomy

In cooperation with the local neuroanatomy institute we offer advanced cadaveric neurosurgical anatomy courses. Human biological models at this point still provide the highest similarity to the complex anatomical structures of the surgical cavity. This is particularly an advantage in areas where many different kinds of tissues interact or for extremely small and delicate structures.



Department of Neurosurgery


Otto-von-Guericke University

Leipziger Str. 44, Haus 65

39120 Magdeburg,

Saxony-Anhalt, Germany