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Haptic Guidance based on All-Optical Ultrasound Distance Sensing for Safer Minimally Invasive Fetal Surgery

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

By intervening during the early stage of gestation, fetal surgeons aim to correct or minimize the effects of congenital disorders. As compared topostnatal treatment of these disorders, such early interventions can often actually save the life of the fetus and also improve the quality of life of thenewborn. However, fetal surgery is considered one of the most challenging disciplines within Minimally Invasive Surgery, owing to factors suchas the fragility of the anatomic features, poor visibility, limited manoeuvrability, and extreme requirements in terms of instrument handling withprecise positioning. This work is centered on a fetal laser surgery procedure treating placental disorders. It proposes the use of haptic guidanceto enhance the overall safety of this procedure and to simplify instrument handling. A method is described that provides effective guidance byinstalling a forbidden region virtual fixture over the placenta, thereby safeguarding adequate clearance between the instrument tip and the placenta.With a novel application of all-optical ultrasound distance sensing in which transmission and reception are performed with fibre optics, this methodcan be used with a sole reliance on intraoperatively acquired data. The added value of the guidance approach, in terms of safety and performance,is demonstrated in a series of experiments with a robotic platform.
Journal: Journal of Medical Robotics Research
ISSN: 2424-905X
Issue: 03n04
Volume: 03
Pages: 1841001 - 1841001
Publication year:2018