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Carnegie Mellon researchers receive grant
Date:12/9/2009

PITTSBURGHCarnegie Mellon University's Yoed Rabin and Kenji Shimada have received a four-year, $1.3 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to develop computerized training tools for cryosurgery, which is the destruction of undesired tissue, such as cancerous tumors and organs, by freezing.

At present, minimally invasive cryosurgery, such as prostate cryosurgery, is performed by inserting cryoprobes in the shape of long hypodermic needles with a cooling tip into the tumor. Cryoprobes placement and the following process of freezing are monitored by an imaging technique, such as ultrasound or MRI.

Mechanical engineering professors Rabin and Shimada are developing an interactive simulator for the entire cryosurgical procedure, combined with a computerized tutor to evaluate the quality of simulated clinical cases.

"This is a revolutionary concept of enhancing surgical training by practicing a virtual cryosurgical procedure," said Rabin, who is leading this project and is an expert in biothermal technology.

Rabin has been developing cryosurgical devices, research techniques and training methods for the past 18 years.

"While we have already developed rapid computer simulation techniques for cryosurgery and algorithms to help make better cryosurgery planning decisions, the challenge in the current project is to develop an interactive tool, which is capable of evaluating and comparing varying surgical scenarios," Rabin said.

"It is like a video game. With our computerized training system, surgeons will be able to try out various cryoprobe placements without risk, visualize frozen regions with intuitive 3D computer graphics, and benchmark their performance with hundreds of cases stored in a database. It is a motivational and effective way of learning and improving their surgical skills," said Shimada, who is an expert in computational modeling and simulation for product design, engineering analysis a
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Contact: Chriss Swaney
swaney@andrew.cmu.edu
412-268-5776
Carnegie Mellon University
Source:Eurekalert

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