Jennifer Cutter

Doctoral Researcher 
Physical Sciences of Imaging in the Biomedical Sciences CDT

Thesis project - "Obstacle avoidance for surgical procedures using image-guided neurosurgical robot"

Dr Hamid Dehghani, School of Computer Science
Professor Ales Leonardis, School of Computer Science
Dr Iain Styles, School of Computer Science
Mr Rob Harrison, Renishaw PLC

The principle aim of the project is to co-register optical surface images of a patient's head taken at arbitrary views during stereotactic robotic neurosurgery with planning MRI/CT images before surgery, allowing the precise location of the robot with respect to the patient's head and any surrounding frame to be determined at any time.  It is intended that this will be done with an imaging device mounted on the end of the robot arm.  The patient's head may move during surgery to allow ease of access, in which case the robot will be able to precisely re-register the head and re-calculate the correct trajectory for the new position.

The work will be undertaken in conjunction with our industrial partners, Renishaw, using their neuro|mate stereotactic robotic system Imaging will initially be done using a 3D surface capture technique developed in a previous PSIBS project and a Microsoft Kinect sensor.

The aims of the project will be to:

1. Develop fast and robust 3D imaging techniques for collision detection

2. Develop fast and accurate re-planning algorithms for the determination of modified robotic arm movement.

3. Incorporate 3D surface imaging technologies and provide fast co-registration with patient specific plans. 

4. Develop and test in-line robotic planning procedures to ensure accurate surgical procedures.

The outputs of this project will have significant scientific impact since the use of in-line imaging and re-planning procedures are of continued importance in the field of robotic surgery. The developed devices and algorithms will not only benefit robotic surgical operations but will also contribute significantly to other procedures which require planning and monitoring, for example radiotherapy.