The Centre has a long history of developing new techniques for medical imaging (particularly in magnetic resonance imaging), transforming them from a primarily diagnostic modality into an interventional and therapeutic platform. This is facilitated by the Centre's strong engineering background in practical imaging and image analysis platform development, as well as advances in minimal access and robotic assisted surgery. Hamlyn has a strong tradition in pursuing basic sciences and theoretical research, with a clear focus on clinical translation.

In response to the current paradigm shift and clinical demand in bringing cellular and molecular imaging modalities to an in vivo – in situ setting during surgical intervention, our recent research has also been focussed on novel biophotonics platforms that can be used for real-time tissue characterisation, functional assessment, and intraoperative guidance during minimally invasive surgery. This includes, for example, SMART confocal laser endomicroscopy, time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy and flexible FLIM catheters.


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  • CONFERENCE PAPER
    Ye M, Johns E, Walter B, Meining A, Yang GZet al., 2016,

    Robust image descriptors for real-time inter-examination retargeting in gastrointestinal endoscopy

    , Pages: 448-456, ISSN: 0302-9743

    © Springer International Publishing AG 2016. For early diagnosis of malignancies in the gastrointestinal tract,surveillance endoscopy is increasingly used to monitor abnormal tissue changes in serial examinations of the same patient. Despite successes with optical biopsy for in vivo and in situ tissue characterisation,biopsy retargeting for serial examinations is challenging because tissue may change in appearance between examinations. In this paper,we propose an inter-examination retargeting framework for optical biopsy,based on an image descriptor designed for matching between endoscopic scenes over significant time intervals. Each scene is described by a hierarchy of regional intensity comparisons at various scales,offering tolerance to long-term change in tissue appearance whilst remaining discriminative. Binary coding is then used to compress the descriptor via a novel random forests approach,providing fast comparisons in Hamming space and real-time retargeting. Extensive validation conducted on 13 in vivo gastrointestinal videos,collected from six patients,show that our approach outperforms state-of-the-art methods.

  • CONFERENCE PAPER
    Ye M, Zhang L, Giannarou S, Yang GZet al., 2016,

    Real-time 3D tracking of articulated tools for robotic surgery

    , Pages: 386-394, ISSN: 0302-9743

    © Springer International Publishing AG 2016. In robotic surgery,tool tracking is important for providing safe tool-tissue interaction and facilitating surgical skills assessment. Despite recent advances in tool tracking,existing approaches are faced with major difficulties in real-time tracking of articulated tools. Most algorithms are tailored for offline processing with pre-recorded videos. In this paper,we propose a real-time 3D tracking method for articulated tools in robotic surgery. The proposed method is based on the CAD model of the tools as well as robot kinematics to generate online part-based templates for efficient 2D matching and 3D pose estimation. A robust verification approach is incorporated to reject outliers in 2D detections,which is then followed by fusing inliers with robot kinematic readings for 3D pose estimation of the tool. The proposed method has been validated with phantom data,as well as ex vivo and in vivo experiments. The results derived clearly demonstrate the performance advantage of the proposed method when compared to the state-of-the-art.

  • CONFERENCE PAPER
    Zhao L, Giannarou S, Lee S, Merrifield R, Yang GZet al., 2016,

    Intra-operative simultaneous catheter and environment modelling for endovascular navigation based on intravascular ultrasound, electromagnetic tracking and pre-operative data

    , The Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics, Publisher: The Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics, Pages: 76-77
  • JOURNAL ARTICLE
    Zhao L, Giannarou S, Lee S-L, Yang G-Zet al., 2016,

    SCEM+: Real-Time Robust Simultaneous Catheter and Environment Modeling for Endovascular Navigation

    , IEEE ROBOTICS AND AUTOMATION LETTERS, Vol: 1, Pages: 961-968, ISSN: 2377-3766
  • CONFERENCE PAPER
    Zhao L, Giannarou S, Lee SL, Yang GZet al., 2016,

    Registration-free simultaneous catheter and environment modelling

    , Pages: 525-533, ISSN: 0302-9743

    © Springer International Publishing AG 2016. Endovascular procedures are challenging to perform due to the complexity and difficulty in catheter manipulation. The simultaneous recovery of the 3D structure of the vasculature and the catheter position and orientation intra-operatively is necessary in catheter control and navigation. State-of-art Simultaneous Catheter and Environment Modelling provides robust and real-time 3D vessel reconstruction based on real-time intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) imaging and electromagnetic (EM) sensing,but still relies on accurate registration between EM and pre-operative data. In this paper,a registration-free vessel reconstruction method is proposed for endovascular navigation. In the optimisation framework,the EM-CT registration is estimated and updated intra-operatively together with the 3D vessel reconstruction from IVUS,EM and pre-operative data,and thus does not require explicit registration. The proposed algorithm can also deal with global (patient) motion and periodic deformation caused by cardiac motion. Phantom and invivo experiments validate the accuracy of the algorithm and the results demonstrate the potential clinical value of the technique.

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