Competition Funded PhD Studentship Augmented reality for image guided endoscopic surgery

Faculty of Science

Application Deadline 31st July 2013. This studentship is available for a 1st October 2013 start.

Supervisory Team Primary: Dr Rudy Lapeer

The Project

Surgical navigation or surgical guidance is a technology used by surgeons to track the position of surgical tools inserted in the human body. Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) or endoscopic surgery has become increasingly fashionable due to – as it says – its minimal invasion of the body hence its lack of having to make large incisions. The endoscopic device has a miniature camera at the front, which once inserted, shows a (magnified and fish-eye distorted) view of the local anatomy of the patient. However, the exact global position of the device is difficult to deduce, thus the need of Surgical Navigation (SN). A SN system shows pre-operatively scanned medical images of the patient during surgery and super-imposes a cross-hair on these scans to pin-point the current position of the endoscope. The position of the endoscope is obtained using a motion tracking system. Two main challenges are firstly, to ensure that the cross-hair on the image corresponds to the actual position of the endoscope in the patient to the best extent possible and secondly, to combine the real-time endoscope images with the pre-operatively scanned images and display these jointly. The latter concept is known as Augmented Reality (AR), or Image Enhancement, and allows the surgeon to see vital structures lying underneath the current scene. This is very useful to avoid severing vital structures such as blood vessels or critical structures such as nerves. We have already developed an in working order AR based SN system, called ARView, but more R&D is needed to make the system suitable for use in the Operating Theatre (OT). Therefore, this project aims to look at these further challenges, including deforming tissue modelling, removed tissue updates, improved motion tracking, improved image registration and many more.

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I.  (2009) G. Gonzalez-Garcia and R.J. Lapeer. Using Photo-consistency for Intra-operative Registration in Augmented Reality based Surgical Navigation. In: Proceedings of the AMI-ARCS satellite workshop of MICCAI09, p94-101, 2009.

II.  (2009) Gonzalez-Garcia G. and Lapeer R. An Evaluation of Photo-consistency for Intra-operative Registration in an Image Enhanced Surgical Navigation (IESN) System. Proceedings of Medical Image Understanding and Analysis (MIUA09), p229-233, 2009.

III. (2008)  Lapeer R., Chen M.S., Gonzalez G., Linney A. and Alusi G. Image-enhanced surgical navigation for endoscopic sinus surgery: evaluating calibration, registration and tracking. International Journal of Medical Robotics and Computer Assisted Surgery. 2008(4):32-45, DOI: 10.1002/rcs.175.

Entry Requirements

A first or upper second class degree (or international equivalent) in Computing, Mathematics, Engineering or Physics.


This studentship will cover the cost of fees at the UK/EU rate and provide a stipend at the standard RCUK rate (currently £13,726). Non-EU students are welcome to apply but due to funding restrictions will be required to pay the difference between UK/EU and International fees.

Making your Application:

Please apply via the University’s online application system.

To discuss the application process please contact the Admissions Office, email or telephone +44 (0)1603 591709.

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