2018 BME Distinguished Lecture
"A Menagerie of Medical Robots"
Pierre E. Dupont, Ph.D.
Chief of Pediatric Cardiac Bioengineering
Edward P. Marram Chair
Boston Children’s Hospital
Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School
My lab creates medical robots not only for minimally invasive surgery, but also for targeted drug delivery and for inducing tissue growth. This talk will describe three of our technologies. The first is a type of continuum robot that is based on concentrically combining pre-curved elastic tubes. We are using this technology to create cardiac catheters with tip-mounted endoscopic imaging and exploring their application to both teleoperated and semi-autonomous beating-heart interventions. The second technology consists of tetherless robots that are powered, controlled and imaged using an MRI scanner. These devices vary from patient-mounted needle-driving robots to capsules that can move inside fluid-filled body lumens. The third technology is comprised of robotic implants that apply traction forces to induce soft tissue growth. Applications include lengthening the esophagus and bowel for the treatment of congenital defects and disease.