Autonomous Medical Robots Guided by Real-Time 3D ImagingExport this event to calendar

Thursday, February 3, 2022 — 9:00 AM to 10:15 AM EST

Research seminar 

Modern surgical procedures require delicate tissue interactions and thus benefit greatly from the precise manipulations offered by medical robots. Similarly, live 3D imaging modalities (e.g., optical coherence tomography [OCT], ultrasound) offer rich clinical data streams useful for guiding surgical instruments. Patients rarely see advances that leverage both domains, however, to deliver medical robots guided in real-time by live intraprocedural imaging, due to interdisciplinary knowledge gaps and demanding regulatory pathways. In this seminar, I report on my translational work with OCT and ophthalmic applications to bridge medical robotics and live imaging. First, I present a multiscale robotic tracking approach for OCT imaging without head stabilization and demonstrate its success in freestanding human subjects. Next, I discuss a robotic surgery framework for maximizing surgeon efficiency when using live volumetric imaging for guidance, show results from a surgical simulation user study, and outline steps towards integration with virtual reality platforms. Then, I discuss an OCT-enabled robotic platform that automates needle insertions for superficial cornea transplantation under closed-loop image guidance and examine its performance in cadaveric human corneas. For each technology, I introduce the underlying clinical motivation, explain how robotics and imaging meet key medical or surgical needs, and present validation data from experiments with human subjects or tissues. In addition, I discuss early results in breaking the framerate-resolution barrier for scanned imaging modalities with online algorithms for adaptive acquisition, using my recently released open-source library called Vortex for developing real-time OCT engines.

Speaker biography

Mark Draelos, MD, PhD, is a surgically-trained physician and engineer who develops novel applications of medical robotics and imaging to improve patient care. After studying at North Carolina State University as a Park Scholar and earning an MS in eletrical engineering, he entered Duke University’s Medical Scientist Training Program to study biomedical engineering under Prof. Joseph Izatt. There, he developed image-guided robotic techniques for surgical navigation with intraoperative 3D imaging, corneal transplantation, and autonomous eye examination. His work received recognition with a National Institutes of Health F30 pre-doctoral fellowship and as a finalist in the KUKA Innovation Award. He is published in Nature Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, and Biomedical Optics Express. Mark is a licensed physician in the state of North Carolina, having completed an internship in general surgery at Duke University Medical Center. He is currently a postdoctoral associate in Duke University’s Entrepreneurial Postdoctoral Program.

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