Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Dr. Rajni Patel


Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in North America. There are recent advances in cancer treatment techniques that can treat cancerous tumors, but require a real-time imaging modality to provide intraoperative assistive feedback. Ultrasound (US) imaging is one such modality. However, while its application to the lungs has been limited because of the deterioration of US image quality (due to the presence of air in the lungs); recent work has shown that appropriate lung deflation can help to improve the quality sufficiently to enable intraoperative, US-guided robotics-assisted techniques to be used. The work described in this thesis focuses on this approach.

The thesis describes a project undertaken at Canadian Surgical Technologies and Advanced Robotics (CSTAR) that utilizes the image processing techniques to further enhance US images and implements an advanced 3D virtual visualization software approach. The application considered is that for minimally invasive lung cancer treatment using procedures such as brachytherapy and microwave ablation while taking advantage of the accuracy and teleoperation capabilities of surgical robots, to gain higher dexterity and precise control over the therapy tools (needles and probes). A number of modules and widgets are developed and explained which improve the visibility of the physical features of interest in the treatment and help the clinician to have more reliable and accurate control of the treatment. Finally the developed tools are validated with extensive experimental evaluations and future developments are suggested to enhance the scope of the applications.