Photoacoustic image guidance for robot-assisted skull base surgery

Sungmin Kim, Hyun Jae Kang, Alexis Cheng, Muyinatu A. Lediju Bell, Emad Boctor, Peter Kazanzides

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


We are investigating the use of photoacoustic (PA) imaging to detect critical structures, such as the carotid artery, that may be located behind the bone being drilled during robot-assisted endonasal transsphenoidal surgery. In this system, the laser is mounted on the drill (via an optical fiber) and the 2D ultrasound (US) probe is placed elsewhere on the skull. Both the drill and the US probe are tracked relative to the patient reference frame. PA imaging provides two advantages compared to conventional B-mode US: (1) the laser penetrates thin layers of bone, and (2) the PA image displays targets that are in the laser path. Thus, the laser can be used to (non-invasively) extend the drill axis, thereby enabling reliable detection of critical structures that may reside in the drill path. This setup creates a challenging alignment problem, however, because the US probe must be placed so that its image plane intersects the laser line in the neighborhood of the target anatomy (as estimated from preoperative images). This paper reports on a navigation system developed to assist with this task, and the results of phantom experiments that demonstrate that a critical structure can be detected with an accuracy of approximately 1 mm relative to the drill tip.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7139239
Pages (from-to)592-597
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
Issue numberJune
StatePublished - Jun 29 2015
Event2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, ICRA 2015 - Seattle, United States
Duration: May 26 2015May 30 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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