The Computer Aided Interventions and Medical Robotics (CAIMR) division focuses on developing physician-assist systems for precision placement and manipulation of surgical instruments. Physician-assist systems incorporate visualization, robotics, and instrument tracking to aid the physician in minimally invasive interventions. The group has two major objectives: (1) medical robotics for precision needle placement in perispinal nerve and facet blocks; and (2) magnetic tracking of instruments and image overlay for targeting internal organs such as the liver. Our group is primarily funded by the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) of the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, but also receives support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Radiology Society of North America (RSNA), and the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology Research and Education Foundation (CIRREF). Our medical robotics work is performed in cooperation with the Urology Robotics Laboratory at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and the Engineering Research Center at Johns Hopkins University. The group recently received conditional approval for an FDA investigational device exemption (IDE) to use a joystick-controlled robot in a randomized clinical trial for needle placement in perispinal nerve and facet blocks. The magnetic tracking work is carried out in cooperation with Northern Digital and Traxtal Technologies. A graphical user interface for tracking internal organ motion has been developed based on the AURORA magnetic tracking system. A liver respiratory motion simulator has been constructed and animal studies are planned. Other research partners include Seoul National University and The Catholic University of America. One long-term goal of this group is to define what precision is needed for these procedures and to develop methods for characterizing the precision attainable with this new technology. In a related effort, we are investigating the problem of respiratory motion. The characterization of respiratory motion and compensation for its effects is another long-term goal.
Division Director: Kevin Cleary, PhD
Clinical Director: Filip Banovac, MD