About Us

BCR (Biomedical Computing Research) Team at Teesside University focuses on research concerned with the design and development of computer-assisted and/or robot assisted technologies to support patient-safe and cost effective healthcare. Novel and creative engineering research to tackle challenges within healthcare and health sciences is identified as an area historically proved as pivotal in delivering major advances for health and wellbeing.

Scientific Applications

We are developing technologies for analysis and simulation of minimally invasive surgical procedures through interactive physically-based simulation and virtual reality techniques. We have developed a prototype interventional radiology simulator Teesside Interventional Radiology 3D Simulator (TeesIR3Ds). It is a software system for modelling interventional radiology procedures (e.g. angioplasty, embolization, stent graft placement) in an interactive virtual reality environment. IR is one of major technological advancements in medicine. The benefits for the patient range from reduced postoperative pain and complications, short hospital stay and reduced costs as compared with open heart surgery. More importantly, advances in medical imaging and device technologies will enable the rapid adoption of minimally invasive interventions for more complex diagnostic and treatment strategy in the future. However, the promising improvement in treatments also means a significant challenge in training medical skills. The algorithms for TeesIR3Ds enable real-time physically-based computations of guidewire and catheter insertions within complex 3D blood vessel anatomy. The system can substantially contribute to the precise execution of procedures away from patient for medical training, preoperative surgical planning and rehearsals. The system is currently validated ex vivo against MRI images derived from patient , but more research is required to apply the system to specialised medical scenarios such as Cardiology and Radiology in diagnostic angiography and angioplasty intervention.

We have developed a real-time system for soft tissue simulation Tissue. It is an interactive simulator suitable for virtual surgery. The system handles responsive simulations of soft tissues to account for unpredictable user interactions with realistic and stable physics behaviors. We are also investigating the dynamic coupling problem that involves needle inserting into soft tissues, a critical aspect of many medical treatments, diagnostic methods, and scientific studies, for example minimally invasive cancer treatment with radioactive seeds implanting. Ex vivo and in vivo studies against MRI images of patient-specific data are required to apply the system to specialised medical domain such as complete laparoscopic surgery procedures.

Algorithms & Technologies

Both systems contribute to a set of real-time physically-based computation algorithms for virtual surgery based on our research. Algorithms such as realistic simulation of tissue behavior during interventions and tissue-medical device interactions, as well as the realistic computations of elastic rod for simulation of long slender medical devices, are some of the most challenging research areas in medical image computing. These algorithms we developed for our surgical simulators can be readily applied to any project seeking to physically modelling of physiological human in either interactive or non- interactive computer simulated environments to meet specific scientific requirements.