eXtended Reality for Training and Intraoperative Support in Surgery


De Luca Valerio De Luca

Valerio De Luca

AVR Lab, Department of Engineering for Innovation, University of Salento

Cercenelli Laura Cercenelli

Laura Cercenelli

eDIMES Lab, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences (DIMEC), University of Bologna


Augmented Reality (AR) has emerged in recent years as a valuable guidance tool especially in minimally invasive surgery, where it provides an “X-ray vision” of the patient anatomy: by superimposing virtual organ reconstructions on the patient's body it is able to compensate for the lack of visibility of internal anatomical structures that makes such operations more difficult than those performed in open surgery. In addition, by providing real-time visual and auditory feedback and various other contextually relevant indications, it is able to keep the surgeon's attention alert and thus significantly reduce the possibility of errors. Moreover, eXtended Reality (XR), which includes Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality, offers a safe and exciting platform for surgical training, thus representing a novel digital approach to augment traditional teaching practices and inspire the next generation of surgeons.


This special session aims to gather new papers reporting both new methodologies and specific application cases in the field of eXtended Reality to support surgery and surgical training. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Image-guided surgery
  • 3D technology
  • Visualization techniques
  • Rendering techniques
  • AI-based techniques
  • Digital twin
  • GPU-based optimization
  • Algorithms for real-time processing
  • Perception cues
  • Registration techniques
  • Tracking technologies
  • Audio/video feedback
  • Performance evaluation
  • Error measurement and prediction
  • Objective measures of XR benefits
  • Usability and ergonomics assessment


Valerio De Luca graduated magna cum laude from the University of Salento in Computer Engineering in 2009 and received a Ph.D. in Information Engineering from the same university in 2014. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the Department of Engineering for Innovation at the University of Salento. His past research interests include grid computing, distributed systems for real-time audio-video streaming and QoE. Since 2015, he works with the Augmented and Virtual Reality Laboratory (AVR Lab), where he is involved in projects on human-computer interaction and extended reality for medicine, education, cultural heritage. He recently worked also on GPU computing, with application to optimal UAV path planning, and on augmented reality for improvement of situation awareness in UAV remote control. Since 2022, he has been working on an extended reality project for preoperative planning and intraoperative support in orthopaedic surgery.

Laura Cercenelli graduated in biomedical engineering from the Politecnico di Milano, and received a Ph.D. in electromagnetism and bioengineering from the Marche Polytechnic University, in 2006. She has long experience as a Post-doctoral Researcher at the School of Medicine of the University of Bologna and she is currently Adjunct professor of Computer Science at the University of Bologna.
Her research interests include the field of sensors and devices for cardiac function monitoring, and more recently, the area of digital technologies applied to medicine. In particular, she has gained competencies and expertise in 3D modeling, 3D printing, virtual and augmented reality applied to surgery for pre-operative planning, intraoperative guidance and training, as well as in the design of personalized surgical instruments and implants. She has been involved in the HORIZON 2020 Project VOSTARS (Video and Optical See Through Augmented Reality Surgical Systems) under Grant Call ICT-29-2016.
She is the author/co-author of more than 70 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals, and she is co-inventor of 5 US, 5 European, and 9 Italian patents.