This is a brief overview of the different types of research projects that are carried out in each axis of ULNIL. This is not an exhaustive list of ULNIL projects but rather an overview of the main topics covered and the different techniques used in the laboratory projects.
Research on meningiomas
Meningiomas are the most common intracranial tumor. The clinical research carried out at ULNIL on meningiomas focuses, among other things, on the study of risk factors for the appearance of meningiomas as well as on prognostic factors related to the success of surgeries for this type of tumor.
Research on pituitary adenomas
Pituitary adenomas are benign tumors that appear on a gland at the base of the brain: the pituitary gland. The contemporary surgical treatment of these tumors is carried out by an endonasal endoscopic approach (via the nasal cavities using cameras). Our research team is interested in the surgical treatment of these tumors, in particular the impact of different types of skull base reconstruction techniques on patients and the importance of certain variants of surgical technique on the recurrence of these tumors. We are also part of several international research initiatives on pituitary adenomas.
Research on vestibular schwannomas
Vestibular schwannomas are a tumor originating from the sheath of the nerve responsible for hearing and balance. Clinical research, conducted jointly with an otolaryngology team, focuses on the rehabilitation and preservation of hearing in connection with the treatment of these tumors.
Using the technical platform of the surgical laboratory, the ULNIL team is working on the development of innovative surgical approaches in skull base surgery, on the description of anatomy relevant to known approaches and on the quantitative comparison of approaches to certain regions to help guide clinical decisions and surgical procedures.
Using cadaveric specimens, specialized medical equipment and biomaterials, our team develops different models that recreate certain surgical situations such as blood circulation, circulation of cerebrospinal fluid and the presence of space-occupying lesions. These models serve both as a platform for anatomical and surgical research and for teaching.
In partnership with the Laboratory of Experimental Organogenesis of Laval University (LOEX), ULNIL is invested in the research of innovative applications of tissue engineering (creation and artificial improvement of living tissues) to solve frequent problems encountered in skull base surgery, especially in endonasal endoscopic surgery. In vitro and animal model experiments are carried out to realize tissue engineering projects.
In partnership with the field of biomedical engineering, our team is working on the development and use of polymers as implantable biomaterials in neurosurgery. Experiments on animal and cadaveric models are carried out to realize projects using polymers.
Magnetic resonance imaging
The high-resolution imaging technique of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is essential in planning brain tumor surgeries. The ULNIL team, in partnership with laboratories specializing in medical imaging, uses experimental MRI sequences to develop new tools to help plan surgeries.