Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Dr. Rajni Patel


There are several situations where tasks can be performed better robotically rather than manually. Among these are situations (a) where high accuracy and robustness are required, (b) where difficult or hazardous working conditions exist, and (c) where very large or very small motions or forces are involved. Recent advances in technology have resulted in smaller size robots with higher accuracy and reliability. As a result, robotics is fi nding more and more applications in Biomedical Engineering. Medical Robotics and Cell Micro-Manipulation are two of these applications involving interaction with delicate living organs at very di fferent scales.
Availability of a wide range of imaging modalities from ultrasound and X-ray fluoroscopy to high magni cation optical microscopes, makes it possible to use imaging as a powerful means to guide and control robot manipulators. This thesis includes three parts focusing on three applications of Image-Guided Robotics in biomedical engineering, including:

  • Vascular Catheterization: a robotic system was developed to insert a

catheter through the vasculature and guide it to a desired point via visual servoing. The system provides shared control with the operator to perform a task semi-automatically or through master-slave control. The system provides control of a catheter tip with high accuracy while reducing X-ray exposure to the clinicians and providing a more ergonomic situation for the cardiologists.

  • Cardiac Catheterization: a master-slave robotic system was developed

to perform accurate control of a steerable catheter to touch and ablate faulty regions on the inner walls of a beating heart in order to treat arrhythmia. The system facilitates touching and making contact with a target point in a beating heart chamber through master-slave control with coordinated visual feedback.

  • Live Neuron Micro-Manipulation: a microscope image-guided robotic

system was developed to provide shared control over multiple micro-manipulators to touch cell membranes in order to perform patch clamp electrophysiology.

Image-guided robot-assisted techniques with master-slave control were implemented for each case to provide shared control between a human operator and a robot. The results show increased accuracy and reduced operation time in all three cases.

Included in

Biomedical Commons