IDP: Bringing a robotic SPECT/CT prototype into the OR
Advisor: Prof. Dr. Nassir Navab
Supervision by: Marco Esposito
, Dr. Benjamin Frisch
The objective of this project is the refinement and preparation for its first clinical use of an interventional robotic SPECT/CT prototype. This entails the development of a user-friendly GUI and the optimization of the core data processing module.
Background and previous work
This project is part of an ongoing research effort which aims at bringing the concept of multimodal SPECT/CT into the operating room, which is currently very difficult due to the dimensions of a whole-body scanner and long acquisition times. This will ease a number of procedures including radioembolization for liver cancer patients. Our objective is to replace conventional SPECT/CT with a combination of an interventional cone-beam CT and a robotic light-weight arm holding a gamma camera. The robot's task is to perform a SPECT scan of the patient by following a trajectory that has been defined based on information about the region of interest from the CT image.
The existing prototype is composed of a CT processing and trajectory planning module and of a robot control module, implemented in Python. The two modules are connected by the ROS framework. The CT module allows to import a CT image, to perform a segmentation of the patient's skin, and to compute a set of poses where the robot should position the gamma camera. These target positions are passed to the robot control module which performs the movement.
Currently all the execution of all these functionalities requires the presence of an expert operator, which is suitable for a research prototype but not for the introduction to the clinical practice.
The student is expected to participate in the ongoing development and improvement of the existing prototype. Thie includes in particular, but is not limited to:
CT processing optimization
The prototype is currently implemented in Python. The student should improve the processing algorithm and port the code-base to the Python VTK library.
A system's usability is crucial for it to be accepted by clinical personnel. For this purpose, the student is required to develop a user-friendly, intuitive and robust Graphical User Interface, which should enable the user to load a CT, visualize the processing result, tune the processing parameters, and control robot motion (the functionality is already implemented in the existing prototype). The technology to be used is PyQt?
(in particular the ROS bindings, rqt).
The student will also participate in experiments in close collaboration with the Klinikum Rechts der Isar, where phantoms that simulate the procedure allow for a validation of all steps.
- Good programming C++ skills and style
- Knowledge of Python, VTK and Qt is a plus
- Knowledge of image acquisition and processing helpful
- Interest in practical work with robots and phantoms