Aim and objectives
To develop and integrate NDI sensors for orientation and position sensing of the end-effector of an Ambu flexible endoscope.
Statistics show that bladder cancer has a high incidence, progression, and recurrence rate it is therefore important to accurately diagnose and assess patients with bladder cancer in an early stage. The high recurrence rate also means that if bladder cancer is diagnosed a patient will undergo lifelong screening to diagnose new tumor locations in an early stage.
Currently a cystoscopy is the golden standard of bladder cancer detection. During a cystoscopy either a flexible or rigid endoscope is used to visually scan the bladder for possible tumor cells. However, this has two limitations:
- The tumor can only be visualized with a camera scan. So, it is not possible to separate non-muscle invasive and muscle invasive bladder cancer. However, for the treatment plan this is of vital importance to distinguish between these two cancer types.
- The position registration of possible tumor locations is done on an unfolded drawing of the bladder. Which leads to inaccurate position registration if the clinician needs to re-enter the bladder at a later point for tumor removal or inspection.
The NextGen in Vivo project aims to solve both these limitations by introducing Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) next to the vision to distinguish between non-muscle invasive and muscle invasive tumors. OCT is based on the same principle as ultrasound, but it uses light waves and not sound waves as ultrasound does. The other difference is that the penetration depth is multiple millimeters versus several centimeters for ultrasound. However, the resolution is incredibly high with a spatial resolution of 10 micron or less.
Both the OCT and camera are housed in a continuum robot to accurately register the orientation and position of the acquired images. These images are combined with the orientation and position to map the images in 3D space. This map is then used for accurate position registration of possible tumors both for biopsy, removal or for re-entering.
Brief project plan
Currently the NextGen in Vivo project is in the startup phase and the continuum robot is still under development. But the first steps for the image registration with both vision and OCT are already being developed. For further development of the image registration a continuum robot is needed that has sensors to sense the orientation and position of the end-effector during image acquisition. The Ambu flexible endoscope is a handheld endoscope with two degrees of freedom rotation and flexion of the end-effector.
During this thesis we would like you to develop and integrate a NDI electromagnetic measurement sensors in the Ambu scope to real-time sense the orientation and position of the end-effector. This information can then combined with the acquired images to map both the vision and OCT images.
You can contact me (via email: firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to know more about this project.