Schulich School of Dentistry and Medicine Biomedical Engineering Faculty of Engineering

Robotics

This is a relatively new area of biomedical engineering focusing on the development of robotic and other mechatronic systems and devices for applications in surgery and therapy. 

The research program is designed to address the challenge of training a new genre of highly qualified biomedical engineers with the multidisciplinary background and expertise to make advances in medical robotics and contribute in a significant way to Canada’s healthcare system and medical devices and technology industry.

Research Projects

Current projects in the Medical Robotics area undertaken by researchers in the Biomedical Engineering group fall into the following categories.

Robotics for Cancer Therapies (CSTAR and Robarts)

The primary application areas include the prostate and the lung.  Novel robotic systems operating under ultrasound image guidance have been and are being designed for prostate biopsy and brachytherapy. For lung cancer treatment, an image-guided surgical robotic system has been developed for tumour ablation under pre- and intra-operative image guidance.

Haptics in Surgical Robotics (CSTAR)

The lack of haptic interaction has been highlighted by many surgeons as being a major drawback of the current robotic systems for minimally invasive surgery (MIS). This project focuses on developing technology for incorporating haptics in a master-slave (teleoperated) robotic environment for MIS.

Surgical Simulation and Training (CSTAR and Robarts)

The growth of conventional as well as robotics-assisted MIS has created an opportunity for a new class of surgical simulators which has yet to be fully exploited.  The research projects in this area are focused on the development of high-fidelity patient-specific surgical simulation environments that can be used in image-guided preoperative planning as well as surgical training.

Development of Advanced Surgical Robotic Systems (CSTAR)

This research is concerned with designing, implementing and testing specialized robotic and other mechatronic systems and devices that will provide appropriate image guidance, dexterity and flexibility for performing specific surgical procedures with reduced invasiveness and trauma.