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  Creating Innovative Solutions to Biological Problems
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Mitral Valve Repair

Performing repairs inside the beating heart is difficult in terms of both instrumentation and imaging. While structural intracardiac repair is currently a hot area for medical startups, proposed catheters and devices do not approach the level of effectiveness that is currently possible during open-heart surgery. The goal of this project is to develop technology for beating-heart repairs in the context of mitral valve prolapse. [Read More]


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Concentric Tube Robots

Minimally invasive medical procedures involve the manipulation of sensors, tools and prosthetic devices inside the body while minimizing damage to surrounding tissue structures. In many cases, navigation to the surgical site involves steering the delivery instrument along three-dimensional curves through tissue to avoid bony or sensitive structures (percutaneous procedures), or following the interior contours of a body orifice (e.g., the nasal passages) or body cavity (e.g., the heart). Once at the surgical site, it is often necessary to control the position and orientation of the instrumentís distal tip while holding relatively immobile the proximal inserted length. A novel approach to constructing robots for such applications is based on concentrically combining pre-curved elastic tubes. [Read More]

   Steerable Needle

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Kinematic Control of Flexible Robots

Cartesian control and, in particular, impedance control of a snake-like flexible manipulator requires considering the effect of manipulator flexion on both the kinematic mapping and the force mapping between the Cartesian space and the joint space of the manipulator. This research introduces a model-based impedance controller that uses a force-deflection manipulator model to implement a desired impedance at the tip of the manipulator. [Read More]


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MEMS Fabricated Minimally Invasive Surgical Instruments

While tools for minimally invasive surgery are often needed at the millimeter scale, most manufacturing technologies are not well suited to this length scale. In this research, we are teaming with Microfabrica, Inc. to design and test a toolbox of devices and implants for tissue removal and approximation in intracardiac surgery. [Read More]

   MEMS Shredder

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Modeling of Needle Cutting

During needle-based procedures, transitions between tissue layers often involve rupture events that produce substantial deformation and tend to drive the needle off course. In this research, we analyze the mechanics of these rupture events during the insertion a sharp needle in an inhomogeneous tissue. [Read More]


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3D Ultrasound Guided Intracardiac Surgery

Many investigators now recognize that cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) poses significant risks to the patient. Recognition of the problems with traditional intracardiac surgical approaches involving CPB have motivated us to develop image-guided surgical techniques for safe and accurate intracardiac procedures without CPB using real time 3-D ultrasound for image guidance. [Read More]

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3D Ultrasound Tracking and Servoing of Surgical Instruments

Difficulty can arise during ultrasound imaging when surgical instruments and tissue structures are imaged simultaneously to achieve precise manipulations. This research project includes: (1) the development of echogenic instrument coatings, (2) the design of passive instrument markers, and (3) the development of algorithms for marker-based instrument tracking and servoing. [Read More]


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