FLINT, Mich.--((REACH) Lab, along with a thriving local medical community, have created many opportunities for Kettering’s Haptics students to use the technology in helping solve real-world medical issues.)--Work being done in Kettering University’s Research in Engineering and Collaborative Haptics
“The feedback from residents and surgeons is essential”
Read more about Haptics at Kettering: http://kettering.edu/news/haptics-helps-reimagine-medical-technology
Haptics technology allows a user to ‘touch’ virtual objects by using forces, vibrations or movements in simulations. It has a wide variety of practical uses in various industries, but students in the REACH lab have found the technology particularly useful in coming up with practical applications of haptics in the local medical community.
A group of Kettering University students has been working with Genesys Regional Medical Center, near Flint, for more than six months on a haptic-enabled device that simulates the laparoscopic adrenalectomy, or removal of the adrenal gland, procedure. The surgery is minimally invasive with laparoscopic instruments, but officials at Genesys have shown an interest in adding a haptic element to their surgical tools. The system Kettering students have worked on would give surgeons a ‘pressure point’ and force feedback in addition to the visual feedback they have on a screen. This would allow surgeons to feel how much pressure they are using with the surgical instrument.
“We’ve provided a simulation to residents and doctors so they can test it and give us feedback,” said Reza Yousefian, a graduate student in Electrical and Computer Engineering. “They try the simulation with and without haptic feedback and let us know their opinions. We want to test their accuracy and record the data from them during the test.”
Kettering has also been involved in a project with Flint’s McLaren Regional Medical Center to develop a new laparoscopic device that allows surgeons to more easily occlude arteries during surgeries, including laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Both electrical and mechanical engineering students have worked on the device, which uses a double-layer polymer suture to occlude the vessel instead of staples.
Kettering has also worked with McLaren to develop haptic-based control system for robot-assisted surgical procedures, so surgeons doing surgical simulations remotely can feel as well as see.
Dr. Mehrdad Zadeh, assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said that the opportunities to work with doctors and others in the local medical field have provided vital data to students working on these projects.
“The feedback from residents and surgeons is essential,” Zadeh said. “There is no way we could do these types of devices without their input. They know what the problems are and we can’t come up with the solution as engineers without their input. The collaboration is essential.”
About Kettering University
Kettering University is a nationally-ranked Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and business university, and a national leader in combining a rigorous academic environment with rich opportunities for experiential learning and cooperative education. Kettering focuses on the learning experience of the individual student. For more information, visit www.kettering.edu.