What we do

The HORAO project asks the most brilliant minds to develop new technologies, that will help visualize the exact border between the tumor and the healthy brain tissue during brain tumor surgery.

Surgery is the crucial treatment step for most patients with brain tumors. A clear identification of the fine border between the tumor and the surrounding brain is essential in order to radically resect the tumor and to preserve neurological function. However, while easy to identify in preoperative MRI, solid tumor tissue is often difficult to differentiate from infiltrated white matter during surgery.

What we need

Our goal is to improve delineation of brain tumors during surgery. Instead of focusing on the difficult to detect tumor itself, we focus on identifying healthy white matter by means of its tracts.

The brains entire white matter is made up of fiber tracts that comprise bundles of axons. This high degree of structure in white matter differentiates white matter from brain tumors, which do not have a similar structure but are largely chaotic. Though, this difference in structural complexity or entropy is currently not detectable during surgery with white light operative microscope, under which both appear similarly homogeneous. The ability to easily identify white matter fiber tracts in real time during surgery would improve delineation of tumors from the surrounding brain, which would increase the likelihood of removing the complete lesion and decrease the risks of harming the surrounding brain tissue. In addition, visualization of fiber tracts leads to better localization and orientation during surgery.


Why we need your support

Neuroscience has yet failed to deliver the required technology. But we are convinced that someone already has the solution at hand or in his mind. Anyway, we need to raise the awareness for this urgent problem.


With your support we are able to launch a global prize-based crowdsourcing competition, that asks the most brilliant scientists to develop new technologies.

YOU WILL BE REWARDED - including the possibility to accompany the team of neurosurgeons at the Inselspital, Bern University Hospital for a day.