"The future of surgery is not about blood and guts; the future of surgery is about bits and bytes.”
/Dr. Richard Satava/

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


A brief overview of the upcoming deadlines for conferences:
- Biosignals and Biorobotics is still accepting papers aimed for Vitoria, Brazil in January 2010.
- So does the International Conference on Bio-inspired Systems and Signal Processing (Valencia, Spain, January 2010)
- The good old ICRA will take place in Anchorage next year, with only 3 weeks remaining until the submission deadline.

If you are looking for a close scientific meeting to attend, check out
- IEEE EMBC, 2-6. September, Minneapolis, USA (meet you there!)
- World Congress, 7-12. September, Munich, Germany
- MICCAI, 20-24. September, London, UK (meet you there!)
- SMIT, 7-9. October, Sinaia, Romania (meet you there!)
- IEEE IROS, 11-15. October, St. Louis, USA

Also, look for the online materials of the 4th Summer School on Surgical Robotics in Montpellier!

Monday, August 17, 2009

IFAC MCBMS conference

The 7th triannual IFAC Symposium on Modelling and Control in Biomedical Systems (including Biological Systems) - MCBMS was held in Aalborg, Denmark this year. "The Symposium addresses problems in biomedicine, physiology and biology relating to
  • model formulation, experiment design, identification and validation, biosignals analysis and interpretation,
  • developments in measurement, signal processing,
  • tracer kinetic modeling using various imaging systems,
  • biomedical system modeling, simulation and visualization,
  • decision support and control.

With application areas focusing on

  • celluar, metabolic, cardiovascular, neurosystems,
  • healthcare management, disease control, critical care,
  • pharmacokinetics and drug delivery,
  • decision support systems for the control of physiological and clinical variables,
  • biomedical imaging systems,
  • intensive and chronic therapy,
  • control of voluntary movements, respiration,
  • rehabilitation engineering and healthcare delivery,
  • kinetic modelling and control of biological systems and artificial organs,
  • quantificaiton of physiological parametes for diagnosis assessment."

This is more relevant to my colleagues in the Biomedical Engineering lab, as they focus on blood glucose and insulin control. (See the detailed list of presentations.) However, any other contribution to the development of modelling and control in biomedical and biological systems was welcome, I also submitted a paper reviewing the different force control algorithms and force feedback issues in CIS. The presented poster can be accessed here.

Good news that our lab won the opportunity to organize the upcoming 8th MCBMS symposium. Everyone is very welcome to join us in Budapest in 2012!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Research at Singapore

Singapore is a great city, and its two universities are working in cooperation on certain CIS projects.
I was given a chance to visit the KTP Advanced Surgical Training Center directed by Prof. Lomanto at the National University if Singapore. The center opened last October, with an investment of over 7 M SGD. They have a whole set of Simbionix laparoscopy training stations, 10 OR setups for wet practice sessions and even a da Vinci robot. They are getting more and more popular among surgeons willing to improve their MIS skills, just as the ICRAD center in Strasbourg and Taiwan.
NUS people are working in cooperation with the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), more lately they did the first clinical trials with the MASTER robot developed at the BioRobotics group of NTU. (A recent publication was at EMBC.) The robot is intended for NOTES and single port entry procedures. (A video can be seen here.) The 12 mm regular Olympus overtube houses separate channels for the camera, the lights and the two retractable end-effectors. It's possible to use forceps, grasper, cautery hooks or similar devices at the end. The tendon-drivel mechanism is able to exert up to 20 N force, making is suitable for knot tying. Surgical suturing (closure) is one of the most critical issues with NOTES, and the NTU people are focusing on this area.
The next day I managed to tour the BioRobotics lab at NTU, lead by two talented professors, Louis Phee and Wei Tech Ang. They have approximately 20 students working with them on a wide range of projects beyond the MASTER robot.
A different thread is the development of a force based micro-manipulator stage for delicate tissue manipulations. This could serve their research on stem cells. (Currently they have a nice fish farm in the lab to get fish egg for the experiments.)
Dr. Ang graduated at CMU, working on the Micron under Cameron Riviere. Currently, they are working on the second generation with new piezo-electric actuators and finer mechanical system. They also have several other projects, out of which I got introduced a little to the BCI classifier that is intended to provide rehabilitation option for the disabled stroke patients.