University of Waterloo
Engineering 5 (E5), 6th Floor
Phone: 519-888-4567 ext.32600
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.
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.