De is also a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering at Rensselaer, with a joint appointment in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Partnering with Rensselaer on this study are Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance, Children's Hospital Boston, and Tufts University in Boston.
Endoscopic procedures, such as a colonoscopy, involve inserting a flexible endoscope into the body. Endoscopes are equipped with a light, camera, and other tools that allow surgeons and physicians to perform a large number of operations and procedures. The progression of the endoscope through the body is guided by the surgeon via handheld controls.
In NOTES, tiny surgical instruments advance through the endoscope and enter the abdominal cavity by perforating the wall of the stomach, colon, vagina, or other viscera. After performing the surgery, the instruments are withdrawn and the visceral wound is closed. Researchers are currently using animal studies to advance and perfect this technique, but these tests often result in difficulties during the procedure as well as post-operative complications.
To move away from slow and costly animal testing, and to help discover optimal techniques for accessing different internal organs via NOTES, De and his interdisciplinary team will develop a touch-sensitive NOTES virtual reality simulator. The system will feature custom robotic interfaces and computational technology developed at CeMSIM to provide an environment that looks and feels identical to what a surgeon would experience when performing the procedure on a live patient.
The simulation's realistic computer-generated models are displayed on a monitor, and users interact with the simulation both
|Contact: Michael Mullaney|
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute