Implementation of Augmented Reality in MRI Guided Prostate Biopsies
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer type, except for skin cancer, and one of the leading causes of cancer death in men living in the United States. One of the ways to combat this disease is to perform cancerous tissue research on the molecular level for metabolomic profiling, gene expression and protein patterns analyses. Such research is performed using fresh tissue specimens only. Therefore, there is both the demand and opportunity for more effective prostate fresh tissue procurement methods that occur immediately after gland resection. Augmented Reality (AR) has a potential to assist prostate tissue procurement by overlaying cancerous region over real prostate gland, thus assuring more precise biopsy needle placement. Multi-parametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) is commonly used for identifying cancerous regions and provides guidance for targeted prostate biopsies.
In parallel to the 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 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 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 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.