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UPDATE: We are delighted to announce that EPSRC have funded our CDT for five more years under the new name EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Intelligent Integrated Imaging in Healthcare (i4health).

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Interventional Systems

Delivering integrated front-line therapies and interventions to advance surgical possibilities, through multidisciplinary applications of medical imaging science

What does this
Methodology Involve?

This theme is about developing systems that integrate the technologies in all the previous themes to deliver integrated front-line therapies and interventions. Current examples exist in Image Guided Therapy and Surgical Systems, which have emerged as one of the most exciting multi-disciplinary applications of medical imaging science.

However, the theme potentially includes other future large-scale systems that exploit the whole imaging pipeline to deliver diagnosis and treatment integrated into the patient workflow. Novel intra-operative imaging and sensing, combined with plans derived from pre-operative imaging and patient specific computational models of anatomy and function at multiple scales are already making significant clinical impact with progress towards clinical translation in many other areas.

Research areas include data fusion of information obtained pre-operatively and intra-operatively to guide procedures in real time; accurate modelling of tissue deformation to ensure validity of 3D navigation; visualisation and integration of navigation systems within a complex surgical environment, providing safe and effective operation for the whole surgical team; integration of novel, intra-operative tissue sensing, functional probes and imaging devices such as confocal microscopy, high resolution ultrasound, photoacoustic probes, elastography, molecular sensors etc.; and development of surgical instrumentation, telemanipulation and mechatronics for neonatal surgery and fetal surgery.

Partners and Facilities

At UCL we have built a significant research programme with major projects in laparoscopic surgery, prostate interventions and neurosurgery, EU grants in breast surgery and robotics. We have access to a wide range of clinical and research facilities and unique developments in for example intra-operative photoacoustics and ultrasound. A key challenge is the integration of real-time systems that are safe, robust and effective in the complex, safety-critical environment of the operating room or interventional suite.

Studying Under this theme

Projects listed below are available for applicants to include in their 5 project choices. Successful candidates will meet with both primary supervisors from their selection as part of the induction process before being assigned to an allocated research project. To view all available project videos please visit our YouTube channel.

Theme Leader

Dr Dean Barratt
UCL Centre for Medical Image Computing

Dean focuses on developing deformable registration techniques for aligning diagnostic-quality MR images of the prostate to transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) images obtained during ablative interventions and needle biopsy procedures. The aim of this research is to provide high-accuracy surgical guidance technology to enable MR-targeted biopsy and minimally-invasive treatments for prostate cancer. The group has developed an automatic registration technique for this purpose which combines biomechanical tissue modelling and stastical techniques. Other areas of research activity include multifunctional MR imaging of prostate cancer, automatic segmentation of MR images, and computer simulation of biopsy protocols to maximise tumour detection and localisation accuracy.