Our robotics research revolves around 2 core themes:
MR compatible microsurgical tools:
As surgery progresses from open to minimally invasive to natural orifice transendoluminal (NOTES) operations, tool development has not kept pace with the desired amount of articulation and dexterity. For pediatric cases, fragile abdominal tissue prone to tearing and small operating volumes poses significant added challenges. We are developing the next generation of surgical tools that move the translational and rotation freedom inside the body cavity. In addition, novel actuation methods and materials are being developed to facilitate the use of interventional MRI and overcome space constraints.
Image guidance and control algorithms:
A significant portion of surgical time is spent on localization of the treatment region and rudimentary processes. Our goal is increase the surgical capacity by using real-time imaging to precisely navigate to the treatment region. At the region, surgeons will be able to perform their task and then utilize supervised algorithms to complete basic steps such as suturing. We are focused on path-planning algorithms with image feedback to optimize the treatment method.