The New York Times: Chamberlain Group Announces New Uterine Robotic Surgery Training Device

Published: April 21, 2009
Reflects Robust Growth of Client Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci(R) System

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass., April 21 /PRNewswire/ — The Chamberlain Group, producers of anatomically accurate surgical trainers, today announced their new Uterine Robotic Surgery Trainer.

The trainer is a lifelike, full-scale model of the human uterus and vaginal canal. It is composed of Chamberlain’s proprietary polymer that looks and feels like living tissue, has appropriate elasticity and can be cut and sutured.

The Uterine Trainer has a replaceable uterus which permits unlimited practice. Chamberlain Group co-founder Lisa Chamberlain noted that while the trainer is primarily designed for robotic skill training, it may also be utilized for any abdominal approach training including laparoscopy. Highly accurate, mimetic tissue anatomical trainers provide a more realistic and costeffective alternative to traditional training in the operating room, with animals, or with cadavers.

Physicians using the new Uterine Trainer may practice robotic skills used in myomectomy (removal of uterine fibroid tumors), hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) and sacrocolpopexy (correcting vaginal vault prolapse). Following a practice myomectomy using the trainer, the physician may perform a colpotomy (separating the uterus from the vagina) which is a skill performed during a hysterectomy. The remaining vaginal canal may then be affixed to mesh and a sacrocolpopexy performed by attaching the mesh to the available sacral tissue.

According to Ms. Chamberlain, the Uterine Trainer was developed in direct response to the company’s client, Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (Nasdaq: ISRG), a recognized pioneer and leader in robotic surgery, for training on their da Vinci(R) Surgical System. In robotic surgery physicians use computer-assisted surgical instrumentation yielding greater precision, dexterity and control, the sum of which enables enhanced patient safety, reduced blood loss, less post-operative pain and discomfort, less risk of infection, shorter hospital stay, faster recovery and less scarring. Growth of hysterectomy procedures using the da Vinci(R) Surgical System is forecast at 150% per year and medical analysts estimate that approximately 600,000 hysterectomies are performed annually in the US alone.

About The Chamberlain Group

Founded in 1999, The Chamberlain Group is the worldwide leader in the development of a broad range of custom anatomically accurate surgical trainers that capture the consistency and response of living tissue. The models are used for cardiothoracic, vascular, general and gastrointestinal, reproductive, urological, and pulmonary training.

The Chamberlain Group works with more than 150 leading medical device manufacturers and teaching institutions in 40 countries. The company is based in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

About Intuitive Surgical

Intuitive Surgical leads the development and commercialization of robotic technology designed to extend the benefits of minimally invasive surgery. Intuitive’s products can provide surgeons with all the clinical and technical capabilities of traditional open surgery while enabling them to operate through tiny incisions.

Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci(R) Surgical System combines a high definition 3D visualization for the surgeon along with the ability to precisely maneuver an endoscope, and a variety of articulating EndoWrist(R) Instruments using three or four robotic arms. All of this combined with an intuitive, ergonomic interface enables breakthrough surgical capabilities.

Intuitive Surgical(R) da Vinci(R), da Vinci(R)S, and EndoWrist(R) are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intuitive Surgical, Inc.

The Chamberlain Group
Lisa Chamberlain
Vice President/Managing Partner
413 528 7744

Original Article from:

Xconomy | Boston: From Movie Sets to Operating Rooms, Chamberlain Group Turns Special Effects Biz into Healthcare Winner

April 13, 2009
Life Sciences, Devices, Surgery
From Movie Sets to Operating Rooms, Chamberlain Group Turns Special Effects Biz into Healthcare Winner
Ryan McBride 4/13/09

Before computer animation took hold of the movie industry, spaceships, exploding cities, dislodged body parts, and other scene-stealing special effects were crafted by highly skilled model makers. But after decades spent in entertainment, Lisa and Eric Chamberlain have taken their skills in the entertainment and special effects businesses and applied them to provide realistic anatomical models of human organs and tissues for the medical market.

In fact, the wife-and-husband team are running a growing western Massachusetts company, The Chamberlain Group, which counts among its customers medical devices powerhouses Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) and Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) as well as respected teaching hospitals like Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. The firm, which serves the medical market exclusively, deftly blends traditional model-making techniques with advances in imaging and computer-graphics technology to make models for surgical training and product demonstrations.

Take the company’s sinus trainer, which consists of a head and neck model with replaceable sinuses. Entellus Medical, a Maple Grove, MN, medical devices firm, began using the models last summer to train surgeons how to use its catheter-based surgical tool for treating chronic sinusitis.

“It’s extremely real in terms of the sinus anatomy,” says Dick Cassidy, vice president of sales at Entellus. Training with the surgical models takes about an hour in the surgeon’s office—much cheaper and more convenient than flying surgeons from around the country to be trained on the device in a central lab with real human cadavers, he notes.

How is it done? The Chamberlain Group, which began making surgical models in the late 1990s, has perfected a technique that melds art and science, Lisa Chamberlain, vice president of the company, explains. Computed tomography (CT) scans of living subjects provide images of human organs with precise dimensions. The company then uses haptics technology—which enables digital models to be made with a touch-sensitive controller—to craft 3-D models of the organs. Those digital models are made into 3-D molds with special printing machines.

Here’s where the artistic part comes in. The firm uses proprietary combinations of silicon and polymers to create lifelike human tissues. By using varying ratios of silicon and polymer, the firm’s artists can control the elasticity, firmness, and other characteristics of the faux human tissues.

The company’s wares range from simple model replacement veins to complex organs like its impressive beating heart (see the lifelike model beating away in this video clip). The beating heart, which has been sold to customers such as Medtronic, has fake muscle tissue that expands when air pressure from an electric-powered pump is applied to an expandable mesh material inside of the tissue. The firm has even patented the beating heart model, Lisa Chamberlain says.

The Chamberlains’ transition from special effects to surgical models couldn’t have been scripted. The couple, who met while working for New York-based special effects company R/GA in the early 1980s, had previously worked on action movies such as Event Horizon and The Matrix. (Eric Chamberlain, a former head of physical effects at R/GA, led the design and construction of an array of some 120 cameras used to film action scenes in The Matrix.) Lisa Chamberlain, who was trained at Yale School of Drama, worked on the production side of the business.

But as the special effects business shifted to computer-animated effects, the Chamberlains sought new markets for their services, company spokesman Edward Agne told me. Lisa Chamberlain says that the she and her husband decided to move full on into the medical market after attending a Society of Thoracic Surgeons meeting in 2000, where they saw that many medical devices firms there were using anatomical models they had made for another distributor.

“We thought, maybe there’s something here,” Chamberlain says.

The company, founded in 1999, now employs about 20 people at its facility in Great Barrington, where it designs, builds, and ships surgical and anatomical simulacra to customers in 40 countries worldwide. Not a bad model to follow.

Original Article from:

Chamberlain Group Surgical Training Model Facilitates New Treatment for Chronic Rhinosinusitis


Eliminates Need for Cadavers and Accelerates Physician Training

Great Barrington, Mass., (March 17, 2009) – The Chamberlain Group, maker of anatomically accurate surgical training models, is improving how ENT physicians are trained using their new Maxillary Clinical Sinus Trainer. This innovative technology was recently designed for Minnesota-based Entellus Medical to train ENT surgeons on their new FinESS™ Sinus Treatment, a less-invasive treatment that breaks the cycle of chronic sinusitis with immediate relief and lasting results.

Tom Ressemann, CEO of Entellus Medical, said that the Maxillary Clinical Sinus Trainer has dramatically improved efficiencies in time and cost and in how Entellus trains physicians. “Before we had the Trainers, we had to fly physicians in for a training session to work on cadavers, which is a logistic and expensive challenge. The Trainer now allows Entellus to bring the training to physicians, which is much more convenient for these busy surgeons; and it saves time and money.”

CRS affects over 35 million people in the U.S. resulting in 500,000 conventional sinus surgeries a year. FinESS Sinus Treatment is recommended for patients whose symptoms persist or return despite the use of antibiotics and steroids and who do not need, want or can’t have extensive sinus surgery. FinESS does not require the removal of delicate bone or sinus tissue resulting in less bleeding and pain for the patient, and shortens recovery time to hours instead of days.

The treatment is performed with direct access to the affected sinus through a tiny entry point under the upper lip, known as the canine fossa. An endoscope is placed in the sinus pathway and a balloon is fed through the pathway to the treatment site and expanded. Clinical study results published in the American Journal of Rhinology prove the effectiveness of FinESS in keeping treated sinuses open with statistically significant quality of life improvements.

Trainer has Portable Life-like Patient Head and Neck

The Chamberlain Group Maxillary Clinical Sinus Trainer features a life-like patient head and neck with key anatomical landmarks such as the maxillary ostium, the uncinate process, the ethmoid bulla, the nasal septum, and the turbinates. The Trainer’s sinus structure is derived from actual patient CT data which is then replicated as a three-dimensional model. The maxillary sinus anatomy differs slightly on each side of the Trainer so that the trainee is not limited to just one anatomical situation.

Dick Cassidy, Vice President of Sales for Entellus Medical, said ”physicians using the new Chamberlain synthetic head report it is realistic and comparable to the sinus anatomy in a human or cadaver specimen. For Entellus, the Trainer has allowed us to deliver best-in-class training to our customers in a more cost-effective and timely manner, as compared with cadaver training. The Trainer also allows us to bring the FinESS training to the physicians, making it easier for them to be trained during a busy day of treating patients. This new easy training approach is consistent with our easy to learn and easy to perform procedure.”

About The Chamberlain Group

The Chamberlain Group, based in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, is the worldwide leader in the development of custom anatomical surgical trainers. Founded in 1999, the company designs and manufactures anatomically accurate medical models that capture the consistency and response of living tissue. These models provide the best alternative to animals and cadavers for demonstrating medical devices and teaching new procedures. The Chamberlain Group’s models are used for cardiothoracic, vascular, general and gastrointestinal, reproductive, urological, and pulmonary training, and now ear, nose and throat (ENT). The company currently works with more than 150 leading medical device manufacturers and teaching institutions in 40 countries.

About Entellus Medical®

Founded in 2006, Entellus Medical is focused on providing unique solutions to address the unmet needs of ENT (ear, nose and throat) physicians, their patients, and payers through the development of innovative device technology and treatment. Based in Maple Grove, Minnesota, Entellus Medical recently introduced FinESS™ Sinus Treatment, a less-invasive treatment option to break the cycle of Chronic Rhinosinusitis (CRS).

The Chamberlain Group
Lisa Chamberlain
Vice President/Managing Partner
(413) 528-7744

Entellus Medical
Sangeeta Sahni
Senior Marketing Manager
(763) 463-7042

Media for The Chamberlain Group
David Carriere
(413) 243-6767

Media for Entellus Medical
Kathleen Crandall
Crandall Communications, Inc.
(612) 327-6336