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[VIRTUAL] GRASP On Robotics: Muyinatu A. Lediju Bell, Johns Hopkins University, “Photoacoustic Vision for Surgical Robots”

February 26 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm


The concept of “x-ray vision” is widely understood to be the ability to see through structures that are not transparent to the human eye. This concept would be a useful feature for surgeons and surgical robots, particularly when navigating complex anatomy. The Photoacoustic & Ultrasonic Systems Engineering (PULSE) Lab is developing imaging systems to offer this capability, but not with ionizing x-rays. Instead, we are utilizing a different wavelength on the electromagnetic spectrum, specifically the nm wavelengths required to induce the photoacoustic effect and enable photoacoustic imaging. To implement this vision, laser pulses delivered through optical fibers illuminate surgical regions of interest, causing an acoustic response that is detectable with ultrasound transducers. Beamforming is then implemented to create a photoacoustic image. In this talk, I will highlight novel light delivery systems, new spatial coherence beamforming theory, deep learning alternatives to beamforming, and robotic integration methods, each pioneered by the PULSE Lab to enable an exciting new frontier known as photoacoustic-guided surgery. This new paradigm has the potential to eliminate the occurrence of major complications (e.g., inaccurate targeting, excessive bleeding, paralysis, accidental patient death) during a wide range of delicate surgeries and procedures, including neurosurgery, cardiac catheter-based interventions, liver surgery, spinal fusion surgery, hysterectomies, biopsies, and teleoperative robotic surgeries. 


Muyinatu A. Lediju Bell - Learn More

Muyinatu Bell is an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Computer Science at Johns Hopkins University, where she founded and directs the Photoacoustic and Ultrasonic Systems Engineering (PULSE) Lab. Dr. Bell earned a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering (biomedical engineering minor) from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2006), received a Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University (2012), conducted research abroad as a Whitaker International Fellow at the Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Marsden Hospital in the United Kingdom (2009-2010), and completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the Engineering Research Center for Computer-Integrated Surgical Systems and Technology at Johns Hopkins University (2016). She is Associate Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control (T-UFFC), Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, and holds patents for short-lag spatial coherence beamforming and photoacoustic-guided surgery. She is a recipient of multiple awards and honors, including MIT Technology Review’s Innovator Under 35 Award (2016), the NSF CAREER Award (2018), the NIH Trailblazer Award (2018), the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship (2019), the ORAU Ralph E. Powe Jr. Faculty Enhancement Award (2019), and Maryland’s Outstanding Young Engineer Award (2019). She most recently received the inaugural IEEE UFFC Star Ambassador Lectureship Award (2020) and the SPIE Early Career Achievement Award (2021).


February 26
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
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