Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy


Biomedical Engineering


Dr. Terence M. Peters


While less invasive techniques have been employed for some procedures, most intracardiac interventions are still performed under cardiopulmonary bypass, on the drained, arrested heart. The progress toward off-pump intracardiac interventions has been hampered by the lack of adequate visualization inside the beating heart.

This thesis describes the development, assessment, and pre-clinical implementation of a mixed reality environment that integrates pre-operative imaging and modeling with surgical tracking technologies and real-time ultrasound imaging. The intra-operative echo images are augmented with pre-operative representations of the cardiac anatomy and virtual models of the delivery instruments tracked in real time using magnetic tracking technologies. As a result, the otherwise context-less images can now be interpreted within the anatomical context provided by the anatomical models. The virtual models assist the user with the tool-to-target navigation, while real-time ultrasound ensures accurate positioning of the tool on target, providing the surgeon with sufficient information to ``see'' and manipulate instruments in absence of direct vision.

Several pre-clinical acute evaluation studies have been conducted in vivo on swine models to assess the feasibility of the proposed environment in a clinical context. Following direct access inside the beating heart using the UCI, the proposed mixed reality environment was used to provide the necessary visualization and navigation to position a prosthetic mitral valve on the the native annulus, or to place a repair patch on a created septal defect in vivo in porcine models.

Following further development and seamless integration into the clinical workflow, we hope that the proposed mixed reality guidance environment may become a significant milestone toward enabling minimally invasive therapy on the beating heart.