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Biomechanics Meets Robotics:
Integrated Methods for Accurate and Fast Needle Targeting in Soft Tissues

Research project supported by the Australian Research Council Discovery Grant DP160100714

Chief Investigators

Partner Investigators

  1. Prof. Blake Hannaford (Biorobotics Laboratory, University of Washington, Seattle, USA)
  2. Prof. Gabor Fichtinger (Laboratory of Percutaneous Surgery, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada)

Master of Professional Engineering students currently conducting projects at Intelligent Systems for Medicine Laboratory (The University of Western Australia) on topics originating from the grant:

  • Genee du Plessis: algorithms for models of soft tissues undergoing large deformations
  • Agnes Kang: modelling of needle–tissue interactions
  • Tyler Mosdel: detecting/sensing of deformations within organ phantoms
  • Owen Merriman: algorithms for real-time visual feedback (rapid warping of medical image using the predicted tissue deformation)

Project Summary

When targeting in surgery, accuracy is sine qua non. Although the initial position of the anatomical target is typically known from pre-operative images, accurate targeting is very challenging as inserting a needle displaces the tissue and moves the target. This project aims to address this challenge by integrating fast non-linear biomechanical models that predict tissue motion with accurate and fast motion control. It brings together methods of computational biomechanics, computer-assisted surgery, and robotics to create new methods for surgical robots that will predict the target motion and guide a needle to accurately intersect the target.


We are currently looking for expressions of interest for a Research Fellow (Level B) position and for PhD students to conduct research in the wide area of computational biomechanics at the Intelligent Systems for Medicine Laboratory, The University of Western Australia. Please contact the grant Project

bmr.1457770502.txt · Last modified: 2016/03/12 08:15 by spns