BRL researchers work to give surgeons ear sculpting practice

Photo credit: University of Washington
Photo credit: University of Washington

Work done by BRL researchers Angelique Berens and Sharon Newman to improve how surgeons help children with missing or underdeveloped ears has been has been highlighted by the UW Today news. They have been working on a new technique to allow surgeons to practice carving a new ear from rib cartilage before the actual surgery takes place. Using a patient’s CT scan to make a mold allows them to quickly and cheaply make lifelike practice models that will lead to surgeons having more expertise in ear sculpting techniques. Read the full story here – 

BioRobotics Lab and UW Medicine team up to test virtual ‘warm-ups’ for surgeons

lendvayThe UW Health Sciences news article announced our latest new project in collaboration with UW Medicine to test virtual-reality warm-ups for surgeons before they perform robotic surgery. The project will be lead by BRL-affiliate faculty member Thomas Lendvay, who is a UW associate professor of urology. Also leading the project is Timothy Brand from the Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma. The study will be performed in collaboration with the BRL’s Blake Hannaford.  For more information about the project, check out the full article here

Congratulations BRL Graduates!

The BioRobotics lab is pleased to announce the graduation of four of our student researchers this spring! Three PhD students and one Bachelor’s degree were awarded to BRL students. Congratulations are in order for Dr. Tamara Bonaci, Dr. Levi Cheng, Dr. Iris Jiang, and Sharon Newman! For a brief description of each of the graduate’s work and future plans, please read on

 

TamaraGradTamara Bonaci, PhD in Electrical Engineering

Tamara has spent her time at UW EE researching security and privacy issues of cyberphysical systems. Specifically, her dissertation focused on the security and privacy problems posed by brain computer interfaces and teleoperated robotic systems. During her time at UW she was advised by Howard Chizeck, and she will be staying with the BioRobotics lab for the summer while she finalizes her theoretical work with these two cyberphysical systems. Congratulations Tamara!

 

Levi Cheng, PhD in Mechanical Engineering

Levi was advised by Blake Hannaford while he researched methods for identifying and preventing tissue damage from robotic surgery devices. His work included simulation of different mechanical grippers as well as analysis of tissue necrosis due to gripping force. Congratulations Levi!

 

Iris Jiang, PhD in Bioengineering

Iris, who was also advised by Blake Hannaford, researched how healthy subjects responded to various feedback methods in order to design higher-performance state feedback for lower-limb prosthetic users. The project was aimed at reducing falls in lower-limb amputees by warning a user of a trip or unstable surface in a short enough time such that the patient could react to correct before falling. Iris was interested in extending this work to patients who had undergone Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR) surgery. Congratulations Iris!

 

Sharon Newman, B.S. in Bioengineering

Sharon worked with Iris to tackle the difficult and time-consuming problem of mapping sensations after a TMR surgery. She and Iris developed an approach to automating the mapping procedure using the Raven Surgical Robot, a Kinect depth-sensor, and a computer application for mapping patient responses. For one year starting in September 2015, Sharon will be funded by Fulbright and Whitaker fellowships to conduct research and attend classes in the BrainLinks-BrainTools department at the University of Freiburg, Germany. Congratulations Sharon!Iris_Sharon_Graduation

C-SATS, a new BRL-affiliated spinoff, raises $2.5M to evaluate surgeons

csats_logoC-SATS is a new BRL-affiliated startup that aims to crowd-source evaluation of surgical skills to qualified experts and extra-institutional reviewers. The startup was founded by BRL alumni Timothy Kowalewski and Lee White as well as BRL affiliated faculty member Tom Lendvay. Check out the C-SATS website for more information at www.csats.com/

C-SATS was also recently covered by an extensive Geekwire article available here.

BRL Contributes two papers to We Robot 2015

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We Robot posted the papers to be discussed next week at upcoming conference at the University of Washington. The conference deals with various ethical and legal issues surrounding near-future technologies. The BioRobotics lab contributed two papers to the conference that refer to our ongoing work in teleoperation security and closed-loop DBS systems. We are really looking forward to seeing what discussions these papers generate!

Feel free to read the papers or watch the panel discussions from the conference which have been published online at the below links-

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BRL attends Deep Brain Stimulation Think Tank

uf_thinktankLast week, BRL researchers Jeffrey Herron, Maggie Thompson, Brady Houston, and Prof. Howard Chizeck attended the third annual DBS Think Tank in Orlando, Florida. Our collaborator Dr. Andrew Ko from the UW Medical Center also joined us in this trip to discuss cutting edge research into improving DBS therapy. Howard Chizeck presented our ongoing work to build engineering tools to enable research into  closed-loop and volitional control of DBS therapy. We aim to use these tools collaboratively to accelerate development of advanced DBS systems across multiple institutions. Thank you to the organizers for putting together such a great event!

BioRobotics Lab attends annual Society for Neuroscience Meeting in Washington DC

This last week members of the BioRobotics Lab traveled to Washington DC to present ongoing work in the areas of BCI privacy and security, BCI optimization, and closed-loop DBS at the annual Society for Neuroscience (SFN) meeting (http://www.sfn.org/). In addition to attending the main SFN conference, BRL researchers attended and discussed their research at several satellite conferences including the IEEE EMBS Brain Grand Challenges Conference and the 2014 INS Annual Meeting.

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