Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy


Biomedical Engineering


Dr. T. Peters


New cardiovascular techniques have been developed to address the unique requirements of high risk, elderly, surgical patients with heart valve disease by avoiding both sternotomy and cardiopulmonary bypass. However, these technologies pose new challenges in visualization, force application, and intracardiac navigation. Force feedback and augmented reality (AR) can be applied to minimally invasive mitral valve repair and transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) techniques to potentially surmount these challenges. Our study demonstrated shorter operative times with three dimensional (3D) visualization compared to two dimensional (2D) visualization; however, both experts and novices applied significantly more force to cardiac tissue during 3D robotics-assisted mitral valve annuloplasty than during conventional open mitral valve annuloplasty. This finding suggests that 3D visualization does not fully compensate for the absence of haptic feedback in robotics-assisted cardiac surgery. Subsequently, using an innovative robotics-assisted surgical system design, we determined that direct haptic feedback may improve both expert and trainee performance using robotics-assisted techniques. We determined that during robotics-assisted mitral valve annuloplasty the use of either visual or direct force feedback resulted in a significant decrease in forces applied to cardiac tissue when compared to robotics-assisted mitral valve annuloplasty without force feedback.

We presented NeoNav, an AR-enhanced echocardiograpy intracardiac guidance system for NeoChord off-pump mitral valve repair. Our study demonstrated superior tool navigation accuracy, significantly shorter navigation times, and reduced potential for injury with AR enhanced intracardiac navigation for off-pump transapical mitral valve repair with neochordae implantation. In addition, we applied the NeoNav system as a safe and inexpensive alternative imaging modality for TAVI guidance. We found that our proposed AR guidance system may achieve similar or better results than the current standard of care, contrast enhanced fluoroscopy, while eliminating the use of nephrotoxic contrast and ionizing radiation.

These results suggest that the addition of both force feedback and augmented reality image guidance can improve both surgical performance and safety during minimally invasive robotics assisted and beating heart valve surgery, respectively.