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

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Space surgery possible with zero-gravity tool

A little self-promotion.
Carnegie Mellon University researchers develope a prototype system for minimally invasive surgery in weightlessness. "Blood and bodily fluids cannot be contained in zero gravity, which means there is currently no way to perform surgery in space without contaminating the cabin. This makes an extended stay problematic, says James Antaki from CMU. The Aqueous Immersion Surgical System, or AISS, is a transparent box that creates a watertight seal when it is placed over a wound and pumped full of sterile saline solution. The saline solution is held under pressure inside the AISS to prevent blood from seeping out of the wound. Airtight holes allow surgeons to access the submerged wound using handheld and orthoscopic instruments.
By varying the pressure within the AISS, the device could also be used to siphon up and recycle blood.
Researchers will put the system to the test aboard NASA's zero-gravity C-9 aircraft next week in the first of several experiments planned. They will perform surgery on an artificial coronary system filled with synthetic blood to test its ability to keep blood inside the body and out of the surgeon's field of view."
Along the article, I was also interviewed by New Scientist journalist Will Ferguson.
The article was also covered in the Hungarian media.

Learn more about surgery in space through are previous posts: here, here, here, here and here

Update: from USA Today

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Advanced clinical, research and training tools for IGS from UQueens

Finally, we are entering the age when research groups are developing support tools that reaches beyond their own project, and can be effectively used in various setups. A great exampli is the
Plus (Public software Library for UltraSound imaging research). PLUS is  a software package containing library functions and applications for tracked ultrasound image acquisition, calibration, and processing.
Development of the library is supported by Cancer Care Ontario by funding an Applied Cancer Research Unit at the Laboratory for Percutaneous Surgery (PerkLab) at Queen's University.
Learn more about it from Dr. András Lassó, senior engineer of the PerkLab:
"Medical imaging and tool navigation systems are rapidly evolving and becoming increasingly available for diagnosis and treatment of various diseases. Images can be acquired in multiple modalities (X-ray, ultrasound, CT, MRI, PET), in higher dimensions (3D, 4D, …), often during the procedure, at the rate of several images per second. Tool navigation systems are typically used during minimally invasive procedures to visualize the position of surgical tools relative to the target organ.
Imaging and navigation technologies have a wide range of applications  in routine clinical use, research, and training. Clinical uses include simple needle-based interventions, such as biopsy, aspiration, and injection. Researchers apply the new technologies to develop methods that make traditional procedures simpler, shorter, less invasive, or more effective. Multi-modality imaging and position tracking can also be used for surgical skill training and assessment and as an aid for learning patient anatomy.  Widespread adoption of these technologies has been hindered by the limited functionality, lack of customizability, and high cost of dedicated commercial image guidance systems. Fortunately, alternative solutions exist today.
3D Slicer is a freely available software application for medical image visualization and analysis. It is developed by the Surgical Planning Laboratory at Harvard Medical School in collaboration with multiple leading institutions worldwide. 3D Slicer enables importing, enhancement, editing, fusion, visualization, and analysis of medical imaging data, treatment plans, annotations, surgical tools, and any other custom objects. The software application consists of numerous modules that can be easily configured  to accomplish custom procedures. Functionalities that are not readily available in the application core can be implemented in custom extensions.
Our group at the Laboratory for Percutaneous Surgery develops custom 3D Slicer extensions for image-guided interventions, surgical skill training and evaluation, and radiation therapy. We provide generic modules for  acquisition,  replay, and analysis of  live image and navigation data. Specialized modules are created for  planning and targeting  for  various  image-guided  needle insertion procedures. All the extensions are available with the same completely free, non-restrictive license as the 3D Slicer core application. We are open to collaborate with clinical and engineering teams worldwide to utilize and further enhance the developed platform. "

If you are interested in using PLUS, Dr. Lassó will give a demonstrative presentation in Budapest, September 27, 14:30 at the UniVet. Ask for more details!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Shanghai Lectures have returned

  • Are you interested in bio-robotics?
  • Do you want to know more about artificial intelligence?
  • Do you want to learn robotics from the best professionals? 
  • Are you dying to know how to use brain signals for machine control? 
  • Do you want to learn programming a Nao and challenge your skills against global classmates?
This semester again, Shanghai Lectures return to the virtual auditoriums. Ten lectures from renown professionals of the field of computational neuroscience will be accompanied by hands-on excercises, homework assignments and a Nao robot contest. 

Check here if your school is already part of the community, or sign up to get inrolled on an individual bases. Lectures are made available right after deliver as a video download. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New Japanese robot from Olympus

A new surgical robotics system--NEDO--was announced by Olympus this week in Japan. It is a complete teleoperational system, meant for early cancer diagnosis and treatment in gastrointestinal, thoracic and neurosurgery. NEDO stands for "a comprehensive equipment for very early cancer diagnosis and treatment", and the 7 DOF robot is a result of a 5-year-long development project.
"Kyushu University has been conducting research and development of high-performance robot-assisted surgery that combines sensing technologies such as robotics engineering endoscopic techniques."

Check out this video to see the system in operation.
The system is not approved yet for clinical use.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

NEAR lab at Polimi

After the ISO workshop and meetings, the group was give na guided tour to the NEAR lab at Polimi (Neuroengineering and Medical Robotics Laboratory). Lead by Prof. Ferrigno, they have built a strong background in robotics, surgical planning and navigation and applied nurosurgery.  Their projects include 
Within IGS:
  •  automatic and intelligent planners for neurosurgical keyhole interventions (biopsy, DBS electrodes placements and stereo EEG), 
  • robust functional hip joint center identification in knee arthroplasty interventions, 
  • new software development for sensor fusion in surgical navigation.
In surgical robotics:
  • Sensors fusion in surgical robotics and navigation
  • Motion compensation in awake robotic  neurosurgery
  • Force feedback and haptics in minimally invasive surgery
  • Ontologies for robotic surgical systems
  • Micro-robots propulsion and control for soft tissue burrowing
Numerous articles have been published (e.g, this, this, this and this list).
One of their key projects was the recently ended ROBOCAST FP7, where they focused on robot assisted keyhole neurosurgery. Within the european project EuroSurge (2011-13) the group is building a glossary of definitions on the topic of robotics surgery, based on existing products in the industry and university fields.  In the second phase of the research formal models  and relation between ontologies will be created, using for example OWL. They are also the consortium leaders of the ACTIVE project (Active Constraints Technologies for Ill-defined or Volatile Environments).

Monday, September 3, 2012

J AIIM special issue--deadline extension

Good news for the latecomers: 
Deadline has been extended to October 15! Send your manuscripts today!

Special Issue of full papers and short communications on 
Artificial Intelligence Methods in Telesurgery
  • Submissions due: October 15, 2012
  • Publication date: February 2013 
Editor-in-Chief: K.- P. Adlassnig
Guest Editor: T. Haidegger 

Elsevier journal Artificial Intelligence in Medicine (AIIM) is pleased to announce a Special Issue of research   papers  on “Artificial Intelligent Methods  in Telesurgery” to be published in February 2013 (tentative). AIIM publishes articles from a wide variety of interdisciplinary perspectives concerning the theory and practice of artificial intelligence in medicine, human biology and health care.  The Special Issue will contain  five to seven research articles, methodological reviews  and survey papers  from the domain of telesurgery, introduced by a guest editorial.

Scope and topics of the SI: 
•  AI-based control methods for robotic telesurgery systems
•  AI-based solutions to deal with latency in telesurgery
•  AI-based clinical decision support in telesurgery applications
•  intelligent devices and instruments
•  intelligent human–machine interfaces for telesurgery devices
•  AI-based skill assessment in telesurgery 
•  efforts towards automated robotic surgery 
• methodological, philosophical, ethical, and social issues of AI in telesurgery. 
For more details and the Instruction for Authors, see the complete Call!
Or simply contact me.