JOURNAL ARTICLE
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A tool for computer-controlled lipoaspirate deposition in autologous fat grafting.

BACKGROUND: In autologous fat grafting applied for tissue regeneration and morphologic/volumetric restoration, clinical evidence suggests that the uniformity of tissue distribution in the receiver site may influence regenerative outcomes and rates of complications.

METHODS: This technical report describes the prototype of a computer-assisted deposition tool designed to maximize deposition uniformity. This is obtained by modulating the lipoaspirate flow through the cannula of the syringe as a function of the tool withdrawal speed by means of a DC motor that controls the movement of the syringe plunger. Although simpler technologies for speed detection may be applied, the authors' prototype features a wireless connection with an infrared (IR) motion-tracking system for real-time detection of position, orientation, and speed of the surgical tool. The integrated motion-tracking instrumentation grants combined computer-controlled lipoaspirate deposition and real-time surgical navigation to maximize fat tissue uniformity along a planned, patient-specific insertion pattern.

CONCLUSIONS: The presented tool ensures the uniformity of tissue deposition through integration of the plunger motion with control of the tool movement, allowing for reduced onset of postintervention complications. EBM level 5 LEVEL OF EVIDENCE V: This journal requires that authors assign a level of evidence to each article. For a full description of these Evidence-Based Medicine ratings, please refer to the Table of Contents or the online Instructions to Authors www.springer.com/00266 .

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