Creating Biomedical Technologies to Improve Health

2018 BESIP Project

Molecular Imaging Program, Center for Cancer Research
Mentor Name: 
Peter Choyke, M.D.
Noriko Sato, M.D., Ph.D
Stephen Adler, Ph.D.
Mentor Email: 
Mentor Telephone: 
(301) 768-5685

Laboratory and Project Description

Implementation of Augmented Reality in MRI Guided Prostate Biopsies

Multi-parametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) is now commonly used for detection of prostate cancer, and provides guidance for targeted prostate biopsies, as opposed to the traditional method of sextant based systemic transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) guided sampling of the prostate. The TRUS/MRI fusion guided biopsy approach has revolutionized prostate biopsies and resulted in the first commercial TRUS/MRI fusion guided biopsy platform. Recently, MIP and SPIS in collaboration with University of Delaware are developing VR/AR and computer vision tools for robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy procedures. These tools create a VR model of the prostate and its surrounding anatomic structures to view the intra-operative 3D surface aligned and augmented to the pre-operative MRI models to facilitate better spatial awareness during surgery, thus sparing critical anatomic structures.

In parallel to the VR/AR developments, the Signal Processing and Instrumentation Section, CIT has been contributing to the development of methods aimed to ensure a correlation between preoperative quantitative imaging parameters with postoperative histopathology to validate lesion detection and localization associated with mpMRI method development.  Innovations in three-dimensional (3D) modeling and rapid prototyping technology allow the fabrication of a patient-specific mold which guides the pathology to obtain tissue blocks from the excised prostate in the same planes as the in-vivo MRI slices.

We propose a summer project focused on migrating VR/AR with the patient-specific mold to enable free-hand in-vitro biopsy of fresh prostate tissue.  We believe this intermediate step is critical for evaluating the feasibility and challenges associated with subsequent development of VR/AR-assisted free-hand in-vivo prostate biopsies.

The BESIP student will get hands on experience in many research fields, including biomedical engineering, medical imaging, prostate cancer, and advanced surgical methods.  The student will learn a wide-range of skills and methods associated with VR/AR implementations, computer vision, clinical imaging, mechanical 3D modeling and prototyping, and experimentation.

Choyke lab: The goal of the Molecular Imaging Program (MIP) is to develop targeted imaging methods that accelerate the development of cancer therapies. The MIP is focused on the development and translation of in vivo molecular imaging agents for early detection and monitoring. Given the high risks and high costs of conducting research in this field, the MIP is well positioned to address challenges that the field of molecular imaging faces.

Pohida group: Provides electrical, electronic, electro-optical, mechanical, computer, and software engineering expertise to NIH projects that require in-house technology development. Collaborations involve advanced signal transduction and data acquisition; real-time signal and image processing; control and monitoring systems (e.g., robotics and process automation); and rapid prototype development. Collaborations result in the design of first-of-a-kind biomedical/clinical research systems, instrumentation, and methodologies.