WARF: P05247US

Device to Facilitate Controlled Rotation of the Cervical Spine


Micah Brown, Jon Cappel, Kevin Johnson, Matthew Smith, Noelle Simatic, Arinne Lyman, Victor Haughton

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing an improved cervical spine positioning device for use in medical imaging.
OVERVIEWImaging of the neck, or cervical spine, via magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) can give insight into cerebral spinal fluid flow patterns, nerve compression, spinal instability and intervertebral disk damage. Diagnosis of these and other conditions often requires that images of the patient’s spine be taken while the spine is rotated about its axis or while the spine undergoes flexion/extension; however, current cervical rotation devices are difficult to rotate, time-consuming, cumbersome and/or difficult to construct using medical-imaging-compliant materials, such as plastic.
THE INVENTIONUW-Madison researchers have developed an improved cervical spine positioning device for use in medical imaging. This device consists of concentric rings mounted between side supports. Bearing surfaces between the inner and outer rings facilitate isocentric rotation, while the two pivot swivel joints on either side of the rings enable flexion/extension motion. The device utilizes friction-induced stopping mechanisms to allow the user to accurately position the patient’s neck and easily reproduce positioning for multiple scans.
  • Rotating or stabilizing a patient’s head during medical imaging
  • Provides a single means of controlling the rotation and flexion/extension of a patient’s cervical spine
  • Allows quantitative measurements of rotation or flexion/extension
  • Useful to orthopedic surgeons
  • Enables neuro-surgeons to do multi-position scans of comatose patients
  • Allows for fluid motion
  • Rotation about one axis may be independent of rotation about the other axis.
  • Fixture may be locked in the desired position.
  • Provides precise and repeatable positioning in an infinite number of orientations - not based on incremental notch adjustments
  • Sturdy
  • Compliant with medical imaging technologies such as MRI or CT
  • May be installed on a variety of imaging machines
For More Information About the Inventors
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Jeanine Burmania at or 608-960-9846.
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