Research Projects

This page contains all completed and current research projects of the CAS group since April 2014. The list is divided into projects that are publicly funded (BMBF, DFG, EU), and research projects that are funded by industrial partners.

Intelligent Insole for Interaction Applications

PI Jun.-Prof. C. Hansen
Project term 10/2017 - 12/2020
Funder
Partner

Thorsis Technologies GmbH (Dr. T. Szczepanski)
University Hospital Magdeburg (Prof. M. Skalej)
Forschungscampus STIMULATE (Prof. G. Rose)

Description

In this project a novel interaction approach will be investigated, which enables the operation of software via simple foot-based gestures. This enables the user to operate the software by foot, but at the same time they can fully concentrate on the actual work process using their hands. In surgical applications in particular, this reduces the risk for the patient as the surgeon does not have to touch potentially unsterile input devices.

The project will be established as a joint project between Thorsis Technologies and the research campus STIMULATE of the Otto-von-Guericke University. The primary objective is to develop the necessary hardware and software components to provide functional verification in the context of surgical applications. A basic prerequisite for the acceptance of the insole as an interaction medium for a wide range of applications is the uncomplicated applicability and compatibility of the insole with standard footwear.

Augmented Reality Supported 3D Laparoscopy

PI Jun.-Prof. C. Hansen
Project term 07/2017 - 06/2020
Funder
Partner University Hospital Magdeburg (Prof. M. Schostak)
Forschungscampus STIMULATE (Prof. G. Rose)
metratec GmbH, Magdeburg (K. Dannen)
2tainment GmbH, Magdeburg (B. Ruzik)
Description

The introduction of 3D technology has led to considerably improved orientation, precision and speed in laparoscopic surgery. It facilitates laparoscopic partial nephrectomy even for renal tumors in a more complicated position. Not every renal tumor is easily identifiable by its topography. There are different reasons for this. For one thing, renal tumors cannot protrude from the parenchymal border; for another thing, the kidney is enclosed in a connective tissue capsule that is sometimes very difficult to dissect from the parenchyma.

On the other hand, the main goal of tumor surgery is to completely remove the carcinomatous focus. Thus open surgery is regularly performed for tumors that either do not protrude substantially from the parenchyma or intraoperatively show strong adhesions with the renal capsule, as described above. In terms of treatment safety for the kidney, this technique yields basically similar results. However, the larger incision involves significant disadvantages with regard to the patients’ quality of life.

In this project, we aim to develop am augmented reality approach in which cross-sectional images (MRI or CT) are fused with real-time 3D laparoscopic images. The research project aims to establish the insertion and identification of markers particularly suitable for imaging as the basis for image-guided therapy

Foot-Eye Interaction to Control Medical Software under Sterile Conditions

PI Jun.-Prof. C. Hansen, Prof. L. Nacke
Project term 05/2017 - 04/2019
Funder International Research Program Grants (IRPG) of University of Waterloo, European Union
Partner University of Waterloo (Prof. L. Nacke)
Forschungscampus STIMULATE (Prof. G. Rose)
Description

The use of medical image data for interventional navigation support requires an increasing degree of interaction between surgeon and computer. At the same time, the sterile, narrow working space restricts the available input modalities. The common delegation of tasks in everyday medical care to assistants is error-prone and subject to variations in effectiveness, depending on the qualification and experience of the employees. Admittedly, touchless interaction devices make the required direct interface available to the surgeon, but for the purpose of software operation they cause time-consuming interruptions to the main task.

This project aims at the investigation of touchless input devices and Human-Machine Interfaces. Especially the user experience (UX) for the use of such interfaces shall be improved. The goal is to develop an input system that reverts to several modalities which are agreeable with the requirements in the operating room.

To fully examine the topic, a close collaboration with Prof. Dr. Lennart Nacke of the University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada) is intended. Prof. Nacke is an expert in the field of Human-Computer Interaction and User Experience and studies different input systems with specialization on physiologic sensors and eye trackers.

3D Projections to Support Medical Training and Interventions

PI Jun.-Prof. C. Hansen
Project term 04/2017 - 04/2020
Funder
Partner domeprojection.com, Magdeburg (C. Steinmann)
Medical School Hannover (Prof. F. Wacker)
Forschungscampus STIMULATE (Prof. G. Rose)
Description

The projection technology experienced a strong development over the course of the last decade and during the advancing digitization of all areas of life and work. The ability to generate bright and large projections is already used in many areas, e.g. for simulation and training applications in the automotive and aircraft industry. High-quality multi-channel projections allow to expand the real environment by virtual objects without the use of additional hardware (Augmented Reality), or even to replace it (Virtual Reality).

In a joint project, which involves the company domeprojection.com® GmbH and the Forschungscampus STIMULATE of the Otto-von-Guericke University, we seek to investigate 3D projection views for the training and support of medical interventions, and to prepare their clinical application.

Based on a camera-supported 3D multi-projector system new medical 3D visualization and interaction techniques shall be investigated at Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg. This includes the development of new algorithms for rendering and visualization of virtual 3D objects, the evaluation and development of appropriate 3D interaction techniques as well as the systematic evaluation of the developed techniques in medical application scenarios.

Home Training for the Treatment of Cognitive Disorders

PI Jun.-Prof. C. Hansen, Prof. B. Preim
Project term 03/2017 - 02/2020
Funder
Partner Hasomed GmbH, Magdeburg (Dr. P. Weber)
University Hospital Leipzig (Dr. A. Thoene-Otto)
Forschungscampus STIMULATE (Prof. G. Rose)
Description

The cost pressure on rehabilitation hospitals results in stroke patients being released from hospital after 3-4 weeks and having further therapy with occupational therapists and neuropsychologists in private practice. However, under current conditions, the treatment intensity that is necessary for an efficient follow-up therapy is not further ensured after rehabilitation hospital discharge. To achieve therapeutic effects, the initiated therapy must be continued by intensive and preferably daily training.

This research project aims at the development of a system for the therapy of cognitive disorders for patients after stroke in home training. For this purpose, user interfaces with new interaction and visualization techniques shall be developed. Furthermore, studies shall validate whether reward and motivation techniques from computer games can be transferred to the new therapy software. For example, one element of the motivation and reward strategy is the suitable illustration of patient’s performance data.

2D Map Displays to Support Neurosurgical Interventions

PI Jun.-Prof. C. Hansen
Project term 03/2017 - 02/2018
Funder
Partner Surgical Planning Laboratory, Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston (Prof. R. Kikinis)
Description

For the planning of complex surgical interventions, 3D models of relevant anatomical and pathological structures are used. Primarily, these models were developed for preoperative surgery planning. Due to the often very high geometric complexity and the associated interpretation and interaction effort for the viewer, the potential of 3D models during surgical interventions can only be exploited in a limited way.

During a 12-month research stay at the Surgical Planning Laboratory, Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA, this problem shall be analyzed in more detail for neurosurgical interventions. Therefore, a new method for 2D map display for navigational support during neurosurgical interventions shall be designed, developed, and evaluated. Algorithms that provide classified, weighted neurosurgical data for a 2D map display shall be explored. Based on these algorithms, a prototype for the visualization of relevant neurosurgical data in the form of a 2D map display shall be created.

Automated Online Service for the Preparation of Patient-individual 3D Models to Support Therapy Decisions

PI Jun.-Prof. C. Hansen
Project term 11/2016 - 01/2020
Funder
Partner Dornheim Medical Images GmbH, Magdeburg (L. Dornheim)
University Hospital Magdeburg (Prof. M. Schostak)
Forschungscampus STIMULATE (Prof. G. Rose)
Description

To provide hospitals with tools for the preparation of patient-individual 3D models of organs and pathologic structures, an automated online service shall be developed in this research project in co-operation with the company Dornheim Medical Images. Therefore, a clinical solution using the example of oncologic therapy of the prostate will be investigated. In this context, the Computer-Assisted Surgery group develops techniques for improved image segmentation and human-computer interaction.

Improving Spatial Perception for Medical Augmented Reality using Illustrative Rendering and Auditory Display

PI Jun.-Prof. C. Hansen, Jun.-Prof. K. Lawonn
Project term 02/2016 - 01/2019
Funder
Partner Hannover Medical School (Prof. F. Wacker)
Technical University of Berlin (Prof. D. Manzey)
DescriptionOne of the most common perceptional problems in medical AR is incorrect spatial interpretation. To address this challenge, we propose to investigate methods to encode spatial information by using illustrative visualization techniques and auditory display. We plan to focus our research on projector-based and multilayer AR representations that do not demand special displays such as monitors, head-mounted displays, or hand-held devices. Our scenario assumes no stereoscopic view. Hence, we investigate monoscopic and static representations of 3D medical image data.

We plan to develop new methods for AR distance encoding using illustrative shadows and glyphs, techniques for contextual adaptive shape illustration, and an auditory display for spatial encoding. The methods will be evaluated under lab conditions within clinical-oriented user studies. Our aim is to determine whether the proposed methods provide sufficient information for instrument guidance and if they provide additional benefits during image-guided interventions compared to existing approaches. We want to investigate how auditory display could facilitate image-guided interventions (compared to visual-only navigation), and whether a combined modality would be beneficial for clinical users.

The results of our project should provide new insights for encoding spatial information in medical AR. The insights could be utilized to reduce incorrect spatial interpretation in medical AR, to enhance established AR visualization methods, and to aid medical experts to reduce risks during image-guided interventions.

Navigated Thermoablation of Liver Metastases in the MR

PI Jun.-Prof. C. Hansen, Prof. G. Rose
Project term 02/2015 - 12/2019
Funder

Partner

Hannover Medical School (Prof. F. Wacker)
Fraunhofer MEVIS, Bremen (Dr. C. Rieder)
Siemens Healthineers, Erlangen (Dr. J. Reiß)
Forschungscampus STIMULATE (Prof. G. Rose)

Description

This project of the research campus STIMULATE deals with the investigation of an MR-compatible navigation system for MR image-guided thermoablation of liver metastases. Central contributions are methods for the improved navigation under MR imaging, especially for the intra-interventional adjustment of prospective planning data. The navigation system shall be operable by a projector-camera system which is to be developed in this project.

Navigated Thermoablation of Spine Metastases

PI Jun.-Prof. C. Hansen, Prof. G. Rose
Project term 01/2015 - 12/2019
Funder

Partner University Hospital Magdeburg (Prof. M. Skalej)
Fraunhofer MEVIS, Bremen (Dr. C. Rieder)
Fraunhofer IFF, Magdeburg (Prof. Dr. N. Elkmann)
metratec GmbH, Magdeburg (Klaas Dannen)
CAScination AG, Bern (Dr. M. Peterhans)
Siemens Healthineers, Erlangen (Dr. J. Reiß)
Forschungscampus STIMULATE (Prof. G. Rose)
Description The investigation of a radio-based navigation system for the support of percutaneous thermoablations is in the center of this project in the research campus STIMULATE. The navigation system shall be used and evaluated in the context of navigated spine interventions, especially for the treatment of spine metastases, with the aid of the angiography system Artis zeego.

AngioNav: Planning of Vascular Interventions

PI Jun.-Prof. C. Hansen
Project term 04/2014 - 08/2016
Funder ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research, Bern
Description

Interventions in radiology are often conducted via the vessel system of the patient, e.g., to treat vessel diseases or to specifically place a special therapeutic agent in the body. This project aimed at the development of a software assistant for the planning of vascular interventions. Therefore, methods for the interactive segmentation of complex vessel systems were investigated.


Industry-funded Research Projects

Exploration of Interaction Techniques for the Segmentation of Complex Vessel Structures

Project term 1.1.2017 - 30.7.2017
Funder Industry
Description Currently concealed due to non-disclosure agreement.

Evaluation of Projector-Sensor Systems for Medical Applications

Project term 1.12.2016 - 30.11.2019
Funder Industry
Description

In this project, 3D interaction and visualization techniques for projector-based visualization of VR and AR contents shall be investigated. A focus is on the fast and accurate calibration of modern projector-sensor systems. The project results shall give information about the forms in which the systems are suitable for medical applications.

Design of a 3D User Interface for Radiologic Software

Project term 15.2.2016 - 31.5.2016
Funder Industry
Description

In this project, a concept for the steering of radiologic software under sterile conditions was developed. The software combines preoperatively taken CT data with 2D radiographic images taken during surgery. For this purpose, a suitable operating concept was developed in co-operation with the industry partner.

Segmentation of 3D Ultrasound Data of the Thyroid Gland

Project term 1.12.2015 - 31.12.2016
Funder Industry
Description

In this research project, new algorithms for the segmentation of structures in 3D ultrasound data were developed. A focus was on the robust automatic segmentation of the thyroid gland during nuclear medicine diagnostics. The results of the project are integrated in the development of a new 3D ultrasonic device.

Augmented Reality Visualization for 3D Laparoscopy

Project term 1.11.2015 - 30.6.2016
Funder Industry
Description

A new augmented reality visualization method was designed, developed and clinically evaluated in this research project. Here, virtual 3D planning models were faded into a 3D laparoscopy image by means of suitable visualization techniques (augmented reality). The project was realized in cooperation with the University Hospital Magdeburg, Clinic for Urology and Pediatric Urology.

Optimization of a Sensor for Touchless Gesture Control

Project term 1.10.2015 - 31.12.2015
Funder Industry
Description

In this research and development project, an optical sensor for touchless gesture recognition was evaluated in a user study. The obtained findings were used for the improvement of the gesture recognition rate of the sensor.

Evaluation of Algorithms for the Segmentation of Liver Metastases

Project term 1.3.2015 - 30.6.2015
Funder Industry
Description

For the planning and realization of radiofrequency ablations in the liver, the knowledge of diameter, form and volumetry of liver metastases is of high interest. In this project, a suitable algorithm from the algorithm framework ITK was identified, parameterized and evaluated on CT data sets of the liver. Meanwhile, the method was clinically used within a surgical navigation system.