Vertebroplasty is a minimally invasive procedure in which bone cement is pumped into a fractured vertebral
body that has been weakened by osteoporosis, long-term steroid use, or cancer. In this therapy, a trocar (large
bore hollow needle) is inserted through the pedicle of the vertebral body which is a narrow passage and requires
great skill on the part of the physician to avoid going outside of the pathway. In clinical practice, this procedure
is typically done using 2D X-ray fluoroscopy. To investigate the feasibility of providing 3D image guidance, we
developed an image-guided system based on electromagnetic tracking and our open source software platform
the Image-Guided Surgery Toolkit (IGSTK). The system includes path planning, interactive 3D navigation, and
dynamic referencing. This paper will describe the system and our initial evaluation.
The goal of this project is to develop a robotic system to assist the physician in minimally invasive ultrasound
interventions. In current practice, the physician must manually hold the ultrasound probe in one hand and manipulate the
needle with the other hand, which can be challenging, particularly when trying to target small lesions. To assist the
physician, the robot should not only be capable of providing the spatial movement needed, but also be able to control the
contact force between the ultrasound probe and patient. To meet these requirements, we are developing a prototype
system based on a six degree of freedom parallel robot. The system will provide high bandwidth, precision motion, and
force control. In this paper we report on our progress to date, including the development of a PC-based control system
and the results of our initial experiments.