Competition Funded Studentship: Augmented Reality for Image Guided Endoscopic Surgery



Deadline: 30 April 2014.
Start Date: October 2014.
Supervisory Team: Dr Rudy Lapeer, Email: [email protected]

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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Entry Requirements: 
First degree (1st class) in Computing Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Physics. NOTE: experience with a 3rd generation programming language, e.g. C, C++, Java, C#, is essential.

Funding:
This project is in a competition for two funded 3 year studentships within the School of Computing Sciences, one of which is funded by the University and the other by EPSRC.

Funding for the studentship from EPSRC is available to successful candidates who meet the UK Research Council eligibility criteria including the 3-year UK residency requirements. These requirements are detailed in the EPSRC eligibility guide which can be found at http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/skills/students/help/Pages/eligibility.aspx. In most cases UK and EU nationals who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the course are eligible for a full-award. Other EU nationals may qualify for a fees only award. All candidates should check to confirm their eligibility for funding.

An annual stipend of £13,726 will be available to the successful candidate.

Making Your Application:
Please apply via the University’s online application system.

NB Applications are processed as soon as they are received, so early application is encouraged.

To discuss the application process or particular projects, please contact the: Admissions Office, email: [email protected] or telephone +44 (0)1603 591709. 

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