Department of Computer Science at UH

University of Houston

Department of Computer Science

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of
Doctor of Philosophy

Erol Yeniaras

Will give a preliminary defense of his dissertation

A Computational System for Planning and Performing MRI-Guided and Robot-Assisted Aortic Valve Implantation Surgeries


Image-guided, robot-assisted, minimally invasive surgical techniques are continuously evolving because of the high precision and dexterity required for arduous surgical procedures. On the other hand, the potential of robot-assisted intracardiac surgeries is still far from being fully exploited because of the challenges posed by the dynamic environment of the beating heart. One of the best approaches to remedy this discrepancy can be making use of an efficient pre-operative planning followed by intraoperative guidance based on real time Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). The objective of this dissertation is to propose a novel computational system for planning and performing robot-assisted MRI guided interventions, especially the aortic valve implantations, in the beating heart. This prototype system would include dedicated software modules that operate synergistically for both controlling a semi-autonomous robot and adjusting on-the-fly the image acquisition parameters of the MRI scanner to better suit the particular conditions of the interventions as they evolve. The approach would simulate a safe access to aortic valve annulus via a small incision at the apex of the heart. Our recent studies, shows a possibility of creating a computational paradigm of utilizing MRI for guiding sophisticated surgeries (such as beating heart intracardiac procedures) and assessing the feasibility of medical robotic manipulators.

Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Time: 2:30 PM
Place: 550-PGH
Faculty, students, and the general public are invited.
Advisor: Dr. Nikolaos V. Tsekos