Partners

Imperial College London

IMPERIAL

Imperial College London (IMPERIAL), the lead institution, is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research that attracts over 17,000 students and 7,000 staff of the highest international quality.  Consistently rated amongst the world’s best universities, Imperial is currently ranked 2nd in Europe and 6th in the world for engineering and information technology; 3rd in Europe and joint 10th in the world for life sciences; 3rd in Europe and 4th in the world for clinical, pre-clinical and health; 3rd in Europe and 9th in the world overall (from The Times Higher Education Supplement World University Rankings 2014-2015).  The College receives about 8% of the national public funding of university research and the largest industrial sponsorship in the UK university sector. Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and business, delivering practical solutions that improve quality of life and the environment – underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.

The team at Imperial is based in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, one of the world’s leading multi-disciplinary centres for the study of engineering with a distinguished tradition of excellence in teaching, research and practice.  The proposed work will result from the combined effort of three prominent research groups, namely the Mechatronics in Medicine Laboratory (led by Prof. Rodriguez y Baena), the Soft Tissue Mechanics and Biotribology Group (led by Prof. Dini) and the Multiphase Flow Modelling Group (lead by Prof. van Wachem).  The three groups have already collaborated on a number of initiatives (ACTIVE and Centres for Doctoral Trainings) and have a very strong individual and joint track record.

Main tasks undertaken in EDEN2020

The research groups at Imperial will undertake the following tasks:

  • Project coordination: management of progress, ensuring quality and commitment to deliverables from all partners
  • Leading role in the design and development of:
    • The robotic catheter driver system (steering control system)
    • The real-time path-planner/re-planner for catheter navigation
    • The computational model for drug diffusion
    • Soft-tissue phantoms for robotic testing

Subsystem integration and testing

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Academisch Ziekenhuis Groningen

UMCG

The University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) is affiliated with the University of Groningen (RUG). The Department of Biomedical Engineering is part of the Faculty of Medical Sciences at both UMCG and RUG, which is the second oldest medical faculty (established in 1614) in the Netherlands. The Faculty of Medical Sciences has two tasks: providing medical scientific education and carrying out medical scientific research. Characteristic for the research at the UMCG is the combination of fundamental research and patient-oriented (clinical) research.

Broady, the Department of Biomedical Engineering focuses on  biomaterial-associated infections, cell-biomaterial interactions, nano-biomaterials, and biotribology, and imaging, clinical-engineering and robot-assisted surgery. The EDEN2020 project will be conducted within the Surgical Robotics Laboratory, which is part of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. The department is equipped with a range of optical and confocal microscopic systems, AFM, XPS, Tribochemist, and ultrasound imaging equipment.

In addition to the standard infrastructure available in a mechatronics laboratory, we also have a 3D printer (Objet Eden260V), laser cutter, and FBG-sensor interrogator (Deminsys system, Technobis Fibre Technologies). Further, we have access to state-of-the-art imaging facilities within the Center of Medical Imaging (CMI). The Center for Medical Imaging North East Netherlands (CMINEN) is the result of a joint initiative of the University of Groningen (RuG)/University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), University of Twente (UT), and Siemens Netherlands.

Main tasks undertaken in EDEN2020

UMCG is has a major role in WP4, where intraoperative sensing techniques for adaptive navigation and in stu diagnosis will be developed. Additionally, the specific tasks of UMCG are:

  • Needle localisation and tracking
  • Optical shape Sensing
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Politecnico di Milano

POLIMI

Politecnico di Milano is one of the biggest Italian universities, with more than 30.000 students. In the QS World University Rankings, among Engineering & Technology 2013, Politecnico is ranked 28th in the World, 9th in the European and 1st in the Italian rank.

The Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria (DEIB), one of the largest ICT Departments in Europe, counts 240 faculty members and about 450 short-term researchers and PhD students. It is organized in six scientific areas: Bioengineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Electronics, Systems and Control, and Telecommunications. The DEIB has always been proficient in attracting projects and investments, from both public institutions and the Industry, at both national and international level. The global budget of the Department is around 15 M€ per year, two thirds of which come from research projects. DEIB is active in numerous networks contributing to joint teaching programs with prestigious international institutions and to international consortia for the implementation of research projects. Strong relationships have also been established with international companies for joint research and technology transfer.

Main tasks undertaken in EDEN2020

  • Raman spectra collection on ex-vivo samples at UMIL and comparison with histology (T1.6)
  • Automatic trajectory planner development and testing (T2.4)
  • Experimental protocol preparation for sub-system and for complete system testing (T4.3)
  • Integration plan definition and integration technical support (T4.4 and T4.6)
  • Whole system testing (T4.7) and results evaluation.
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Renishaw PLC

RENISHAW

One of the world’s leading engineering technology companies, Renishaw, specialises in the design, manufacture and sale of precision metrology and inspection equipment, which is sold to a broad range of industrial sectors. For over 40 years, Renishaw has been an innovator in metrology, motion control, machine calibration, dental CAD/CAM, additive manufacturing, spectroscopy and neurosurgery. Renishaw is applying cutting-edge precision engineering technology to the challenges of functional neurosurgery. The initial range of products includes the neuromate stereotactic neurosurgical robot and products designed to enable surgeons to implant Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) electrodes with greater confidence and accuracy relative to targeted brain anatomy. It is also working with a number of medical technology and biotech companies on the development and optimisation of next-generation drug delivery systems for the treatment of serious Central Nervous System diseases. In addition to its neurological products Renishaw is a world leader in Raman spectroscopy which has the ability to provide a chemical fingerprint of tissue and aid in the diagnosis of disease. Renishaw are also able to provide class leading medical standard regulatory, quality, production / assembly and resources and input as well as an embedded distribution network to ensure that any resultant product has the best chance of commercial success.

Main tasks undertaken in EDEN2020

  • Exploitation management
  • Integration of technical deliverables including neurosurgical and Raman products
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Technische Universitat Munchen

TUM

Technische Universität München (TUM) is one of the biggest technical universities in Germany and, according to the Nature index, among the two most prestigious German universities. In 2006 and again in 2012. TUM was, thanks to its focus on cutting-edge research and the establishment of a culture of entrepreneurship, one of the first three universities included in the Excellence Initiative of the DFG and the German Council of Science and Humanities.

The chair for Computer Aided Medical Procedures (CAMP) established in 2004 at Technische Universität München is one of the reference centres in the field of medical image computing in Europe. Its work ranges from incremental, radical and fundamental research on perception issues in medical imaging and augmented reality to applied research for medical image processing. A special focus lies on reconstruction, intra- and intermodal segmentation and registration of 3D and 4D datasets, in particular ultrasound, with strong publications in international journals such as Medical Image Analysis and Transactions on Medical Imaging. One of the main contributions is a robust registration of multi-modal information (MRI, CT, DTI) to intra-operative ultrasound for interventional settings. Furthermore, different visualization technologies allow for the comparison and combination of information from state-of-the-art systems. Indeed, the development of new interaction paradigms in 3D visualization based on augmented and virtual reality techniques aim at showing physicians all necessary information whenever required instead of displaying raw uncorrelated information from various sources.

The chair currently operates three laboratories, of which two are directly co-located in university clinics in Munich, equipped with ultrasound, mobile C-arm and robotic technology, augmented reality and visualization tools as well as a full wet-lab to perform cadaver studies. The proximity to the medical departments as well as their operating theatres allows for fast evaluation of new developments and immediate feedback by physicians, routinely contributing to the development of new approaches.

Main tasks undertaken in EDEN2020

  • Integration of 3D-Ultrasound probe for interventional guidance
  • Tracking of flexible catheter in ultrasound data
  • Feedback loop of catheter pose estimation with robotic control
  • Clinical integration of system components with partners
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Universita degli Studi Milano

UMIL

The University of Milan is a public teaching and research university, acknowledged for its wide variety of disciplinary fields. A leading institute in Italy and Europe for scientific productivity, the University of Milan is the largest university in the region. The University of Milan is characterized by the marked multidisciplinary nature of its teaching and research programmes, with Medicine and Healthcare being among the most developed areas. The Faculty of Medicine is one of the most important in Italy, in terms of both the standards of training and the clinical and basic scientific results. The Faculty boasts one of the highest rates of scientific production in the country. UMIL is within the most important 150 universities of the world, and top 75 in the field of medicine.

The UMIL team herein involved is one of the leader group at national, European, and worldwide level on the management of patients with gliomas. The team is based at the Humanitas Research Hospital, IRCCS, a large (>900 beds) oncological hospital located in the Milan area. Humanitas is one of the leading centres in Italy and in Europe for the diagnosis and treatment of many oncological diseases. The Unit of Neurosurgical Oncology of the UMIL in Humanitas is one of the leader Institution for the treatment of brain tumors in Italy, dealing comprehensively with more than 1,200 cases of brain tumours/year. The Unit is part of Neuro-oncological team of the Humanitas Cancer Centre, a multidisciplinary team composed of Neurosurgery (Neurosurgical Oncology Unit), Radiation Oncology (Dr Piera Navarria, Dr Marta Scorsetti), Medical Neuro-oncology (Prof Riccardo Soffietti), Neuroradiology, neuro-rehabilitation (Dr Respizzi). Since 2004, more than 1,200 patients with LGGs and HGGs have been treated by this Unit. At surgery, which in all patients is conducted with the policy to maximally reset tumor and to maximally preserve function, specimens are collected for regular histology, determination of Ki67 index, EGFR III status, 1p19q codeletion status, MGMT methylation status, IDH1 mutation. The team has the facility to study patients with advanced MR and PET techniques. The group has developed various diffusion tensor MR techniques (p and q maps, NODDI diffusion maps), to define the degree of structural heterogeneity of gliomas beyond standard MR techniques. MR data have been also integrated in the same patients with metabolic information, obtained from MET, FLT and DOPA PET scans. These imaging techniques are performed routinely in the clinical activity and usually incorporated into the neuronavigation system at the time of surgery, corrected with intraoperative US and intraoperative CT images for brain shift and correlated with histological and molecular data obtained from multiple samples. Patients are submitted within the neuro-oncological group at regular follow up with clinical. haematological, and radiological examinations every three months for the first three years, and every six months thereafter. Neuropsychological evaluation is available pre operatively, and post operatively every four months along all the time of the follow up.

The Milan database (University of Milano Brain Tumor Bank) is a large Tumor bank, included in the Humanitas Research Hospital Tumor Bank, one of the most advanced tumor bank in Italy, with 1100 glioma samples collected since 2004, with frozen samples (at least 10 vials for each patient) and clinico-radiological data.

Main tasks undertaken in EDEN2020

  • Ethical processes
  • In vivo stereotactic-based navigation for animal trials
  • Human brain tissue sample extraction and delivery
  • Ex vivo feasibility study of fully integrated system in a clinical scenario
  • In Vivo Phase I Trial

In Vivo Phase II Trial

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Universita Vita-Salute San Raffaele

UNISR

The San Raffaele Hospital (OSR) of Universita Vita-Salute San Raffaele (UNISR) is one of the leading private scientific research institutes in Italy, recognized by the Italian Ministry of Health as a Research Hospital (IRCCS). It comprises both clinical and research activities, conducted by a highly specialized and qualified hospital with 1,357 beds and a research institute with around 1,600 basic, clinical and translational scientists.

The premises also host the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University which comprises the faculties of medicine, psychology and philosophy and provides specialized post graduate courses, residency programs in various medical specialties, and international PhD programs. OSR performs cutting-edge science and aims at advancing the knowledge about human diseases and novel therapies through translational research. OSR can count on 11 Clinical Departments, 5 Research Divisions, 4 Research Institutes and 3 Research Centers (http://www.hsr.it/research/ ). In particular OSR expertise-excellence areas are: Oncology; Neuroscience; Metabolic and Cardiovascular Sciences; Regenerative Medicine, stem cells and gene therapy; Immunology, Transplantation and Infectious Diseases; Genetics and Cell Biology; Genomics, Bioinformatics and Imaging technologies.

Main tasks undertaken in EDEN2020

  • Define the diffusion features of normal adult brain using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) on a 3 Tesla scanner
  • Define the modification of diffusion features in the brain in the presence of low grade and high grade glial lesion
  • Optimize DTI and Susceptibility Weighted Images (SWI) on a 1.5 T scanner for in vivo sheep brain studies
  • Define the diffusion features of normal adult sheep brain using diffusion tensor imaging on a 1.5 Tesla scanner
  • Combine diffusion data coming from normal and diseased brain and from normal sheep brain with the computational model developed to assess deformation, flow and diffusion of the brain (WP2)
  • Contribute to evaluate pre- and post-operative CT and MR (0.25 T) images obtained in sheep during the in vivo targeting training phase 1 (WP5)
  • Measure DTI and SWI modification in the sheep brain on a 1.5 Tesla scanner after catheter positioning during the in vivo targeting training phase 2a (WP5)
  • Measure DTI and SWI modification in the sheep brain on a 1.5 Tesla scanner after fluid injection during the in vivo targeting training phase 2b (WP5)
  • In vivo tracking of nanoparticles
  • Contribute to ex-vivo tracking
  • Contribute to combine  in vivo and ex-vivo tracking data with computational model
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XOGRAPH Healthcare Limited

XOGRAPH

Xograph Healthcare is the Research & Development and Manufacturing resource for the Xograph Group. Xograph has been trading for more than 47 years and is a privately owned British group of technical, scientific and healthcare companies.

The Head Office in Gloucestershire, UK houses administration, marketing, sales, finance and technical support functions for the Group –  as well as purpose-built facilities such as specialist healthcare Research & Development, Product Design, Prototyping and Manufacturing to current quality standards – utilising the very latest equipment and processes in our Class 7 Clean Rooms.

We specialise in the extrusion of medical grade plastic tubing in many materials down to an o/d of 0.5mm together with plastic moulding and supply many of the global healthcare companies.

The site also houses test areas, workshops and pre-staging areas for radiology equipment designed and manufactured by Xograph Healthcare.

Main tasks undertaken in EDEN2020

  • Development of a biocompatible 2.5mm catheter, with embedded optical fibres
  • Over-mouldings of the base for actuation and steering
  • Packaging (with a view to sterilisation).
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