Advanced planning, simulation, and execution technologies for the next generation of computer-assisted surgical robots are being developed in a collaborative effort involving researchers in robotics, computational mechanics, computer science, surgery, and bioengineering. Hip replacement surgery, one of the most common procedures in orthopaedic surgery, is targeted because of anticipated benefits from the high precision and accuracy.
The biomechanics-based surgical simulator that is being developed will allow surgeons to evaluate mechanical consequences of a proposed surgical plan. By coupling the simulator with precise surgical robots, the surgeon can plan an "ideal" surgery and ensure that it is carried out. To execute the plan with a robot, the system must be able to register (determine the position and orientation of) a bone in a clinical environment. Surface-based registration is preferred because it does not require surgically-implanted markers to properly align the pre-operative plan with the patient's anatomy, thus reducing patient trauma. Success of both surgical registration and pre-operative simulation depends strongly on the realism of the geometric and physical models. High performance computing is needed to overcome the computational complexities in modeling, simulation, and registration. Advanced human-computer interaction techniques will be used to help ensure clinical viability.
This NSF-funded work is being conducted jointly by Carnegie Mellon University and Shadyside Medical Center.
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Hippocrates is a new joint effort between roboticists, computational mechanicists, and computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University, and surgeons and bioengineers at Shadyside Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA. Its goal is to develop advanced planning, simulation, and execution technologies for the next generation of computer-assisted surgical robots. Because of the significant computational requirements presented by each of these tasks, high performance computing is essential to realizing the great promise of robot-assisted surgery.