This study was conducted to evaluate the accuracy of navigation process according to the type of tracking methods and registration markers. The target registration errors (TREs) were measured at seven anatomical landmarks of the mandible.
Four different experiments were performed to obtain the TREs using two tracking methods, the optical tracker (Polaris) and the electromagnetic (EM) tracker (Aurora), and two types of registration markers, invasive and noninvasive markers. All comparisons of TREs were statistically analyzed using SPSS and Python-based statistical package.
The average TRE values obtained from the four experiments were as follows: (1) 0.85 mm (± 0.07) using invasive marker and Aurora, (2) 1.06 mm (± 0.12) using invasive marker and Polaris, (3) 1.43 mm (± 0.15) using noninvasive marker and Aurora, and (4) 1.57 mm (± 0.23) using noninvasive marker and Polaris. Comparisons between all the experimental results revealed statistically significant differences except for the type of tracking system. Although the comparison between the modality of the tracking system showed no significant differences, the EM-based approach consistently demonstrated better performances than the optical type in all comparisons.
This study demonstrates that irrespective of the tracking modality, using invasive marker is a better choice in terms of accuracy. When using noninvasive marker, it is important to consider the increased TREs. In this study, the noninvasive marker caused a maximum increment of TREs of 0.81 mm compared with the invasive marker. Furthermore, using an EM-based tracker with invasive marker may result in the best accuracy for navigation.