SURGICAL ROBOTICS AND ALLIED TECHNOLOGIES AREA
The Surgical Robotics (SR) researchers investigate problems, identify enabling technologies and develop solutions for addressing the field of minimally invasive and targeted therapy and diagnosis.
The SR group addresses the main scientific problem of covering the gap between diagnosis and therapy, by blending together competences coming from robotics and bioengineering and by developing platforms, enabling technologies and components with the ability to treat many pathologies in the human body, including in hard-to reach areas (e.g. in the cardiovascular system, in the respiratory apparatus, in the central nervous system, in the abdominal cavities, etc.).
This group aims at developing smart and miniaturized technological tools that allow clinicians to perform less invasive, faster, more precise and safer surgical/medical procedures, or directly allow the patient to improve his/her quality of life, by means of implantable or wearable technologies. SR group also aims at developing miniaturized and controllable tools for in vitro and in vivo diagnostics, regenerative medicine and cell engineering procedures, by merging the competences and research interests of both robotics and bioengineering.
The SR area includes different research lines:
Advanced Robotic Devices for Diagnosis and Targeted Therapy
This research line collects all projects devoted to the development of robots, capsules, instrumented catheters, and probes able to operate and navigate in the human body for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Therapy and diagnosis can be performed in the human abdomen, in the cardiovascular system, in the gastrointestinal tract, but also in other hard-to-reach districts. The typical size of devices entering the human body ranges between 10 cm and tens of microns, depending on the target area and the patient (which can be an adult as well as a child before delivery).
Sensing Systems for Medical Devices
This research line includes projects devoted to develop sensing systems for health monitoring or for health assistance (e.g. for people with ventricular assistive devices), as well as visualization technologies for endoluminal devices. More specifically, there is a strong competence in the development of vision sensing systems, illumination devices, and ancillary sensing technologies to be used in different cavities of the human body.
Enabling Technologies (e.g. nanotransducer and bio-hybrid devices)
This research line includes a broad range of novel technological solutions aiming at significantly improving or even revolutionizing the possibilities and performances of current sensors, actuators and mechatronic systems. Such solutions rely on the development and assembly of smart materials and micro/nano-particles, also exploiting some intriguing properties of these systems (e.g. piezoelectricity) and on the integration of living cells and tissues within bioartificial structures, towards the development of bio-hybrid systems.
- V. Iacovacci, L. Ricotti, P. Dario, and A. Menciassi, Design and development of a mechatronic system for noninvasive refilling of implantable artificial pancreas. IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics. 20(3): 1160-1169; 2015
- V. Iacovacci, G. Lucarini, C. Innocenti, N. Comisso, P. Dario, L. Ricotti and A. Menciassi, Polydimethylsiloxane films doped with NdFeB powder: magnetic characterization and potential applications in biomedical engineering and microrobotics. Biomedical Microdevices – 17(6): 112; 2015
- G. Gerboni, T. Ranzani, A. Diodato, G. Ciuti, M. Cianchetti, A. Menciassi, Modular soft mechatronic manipulator for minimally invasive surgery (MIS): overall architecture and development of a fully integrated soft module, Meccanica (Special Issue: Soft Mechatronics). First online: 07 September 2015, pp. 1-14, 2015.
- G. Ciuti, L. Ricotti, A. Menciassi, P. Dario, MEMS Sensor Technologies for Human Centred Applications in Healthcare, Physical Activities, Safety and Environmental Sensing: A Review on Research Activities in Italy. Sensors, 15(3), 6441-6468, 2015.
- G. Lucarini, G. Ciuti, M. Mura, R. Rizzo, A. Menciassi, A new concept for magnetic capsule colonoscopy based on an electromagnetic. International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems, 12(25), ISSN 1729-8806, 2015.
- S. Tognarelli, M. Salerno, G. Tortora, C. Quaglia, P. Dario, M.O. Schurr, A. Menciassi, A miniaturized robotic platform for natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery: in vivo validation. Surgical Endoscopy, 29(12), pp 3477-3484, 2015.
- I. Baldoli, A. Cuttano, R.T. Scaramuzzo, S. Tognarelli, M. Ciantelli, F. Cecchi, M. Gentile, E. Sigali, C. Laschi, P. Ghirri, A. Menciassi, P. Dario, A. Boldrini, A novel simulator for mechanical ventilation in newborns: MEchatronic REspiratory System SImulator for Neonatal Applications. Proc Inst Mech Eng H; 229(8):581-91, 2015.
- VALVETECH (www.valvetech.it)
- FUTURA "Focused Ultrasound Therapy Using Robotic Approaches", FP7-ICT-611963-2013.3.2 Cognitive System and Robotics (www.futuraproject.eu)
- M2NEURAL, FP7-M-ERA.NET (www.m2neural.eu)
- ENDOVESPA "Endoscopic Versatile robotic guidance, diagnosis and therapy of magnetic-driven soft-tethered endoluminAl robots", FP7-ICT 24- 688592 - 2015 Robotics - item c. Innovation Actions: Technology transfer (www.endovespa.eu).