Seminars at CISST

Within the frames of the extra-curricular education, there are several seminars organized every week primariy for the students, however a lot of the professors take part as well. On Wednesdays there is a Lab seminar with a prominent invited speaker from the field of surgical robotics. On Fridays, it is the student seminar, where the labs are introducing themselves this semester and in addition there are other CS and CIS related seminars throughout the week. This Wednesday, Prof. Kevin Cleary was invited from the Imaging Science and Infomarion Systems Group at Georgetown University. He has been working a lot with the CISST, and this time he talked about three topics, related to their present research. Firstly, he presented the concept of electromagnetic imaging. Now we are able to manufacture coils that are only about the size of 0.5 mm X 3 mm, so it can be attached even to the tip of a needle or a catheter. (Such as AURORA Tracking system.) After that, with the help of an external EM field generator, we can track the probe. It is not as accurate as the optical localization, however works within the body as well.
Secondly, he talked about the Cyberknife robot, that was built at Stanford University and in clinical use since 1999, having performed over 15.000 operations. The advantage of the robotic system that it can actually turn the radiation source around the patient, to treat tumors anywhere in the body non-invasively and with sub-millimeter accuracy. This system can be considered as a success story, as it is able to significantly reduce the overall dose in chemotherapy, and now sells well.
Later, he presented some robotic systems they developed, such as the C-arm combined robot for spine biopsy and CT fluoroscope-guided lung biopsy. The second was realized with the ERC's Steady-hand robot, and they added respiratory motion compensation based on processing the grabbed frames of the CT. Besides, they also have an impedance controlled, 3D ultrasound based biopsy robot.
Finally, he addressed some of the mayor questions of CIS R&D. Lacking the critical mass of installed surgical platform, the growing of the market will continue slowly. A winner strategy is to look for niche markets. MIS represents the future of surgery, however, robots will only remain powertools for human surgeons for a long time.


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