Image-guided robotic opthalmic microsurgery

Mark Draelos, Brenton Keller, Gao Tang, William Edwards, Yuan Tian, Kris Hauser, Anthony Kuo, Joseph Izatt


With collaborators at Duke University, we are studying robotic microsurgery in the eye guided by real-time intraoperative imaging from optical coherence tomography (OCT). We focus on the task of guiding a needle precisely to a target or along a 3D path, which is challenging for human surgeons due to the limitations of microscope depth perception and the accuracy of the human hand. Volumetric images from the eye are acquired by our OCT system at approximately 1 volume per second at the resolution of a few microns, and our needle guidance software processes the images, tracks the target in the tissue, predicts cornea deformation, and optimizes robot trajectories to guide the needle accurately to the target. We have also investigated Our techniques are able to achieve approximately 50 micron accuracy in the Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (DALK) procedure

  • W. Edwards, G. Tang, Y. Tian, M. Draelos, J. Izatt, A. Kuo, and K. Hauser. Data-driven Modelling and Control for Robot Needle Insertion in Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 7(2):1526-1533, April 2022. doi: 10.1109/LRA.2022.3140458. pdf link
  • Y. Tian, M. Draelos, G. Tang, R. Qian, A. Kuo, J. A. Izatt, and K. Hauser. Toward Autonomous Robotic Micro-Suturing using Optical Coherence Tomography Calibration and Path Planning. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), June 2020 pdf Summary video ICRA 10-minute talk video
  • B. Keller, M. Draelos, K. Zhou, R. Kuan, A. Kuo, G. Konidaris, K. Hauser, J. A. Izatt. OCT Guided Robotic Ophthalmic Microsurgery via Reinforcement Learning from Demonstration. IEEE Transactions on Robotics, Apr., 2020. doi:10.1109/TRO.2020.2980158 pdf
  • M. Draelos, G. Tang, B. Keller, A. Kuo, K. Hauser, J. A. Izatt. Optical Coherence Tomography Guided Robotic Needle Insertion for Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty. IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, Nov. 20, 2019. doi:10.1109/TBME.2019.2954505 link
  • M. Draelos, P. Ortiz, R. Qian, B. Keller, K. Hauser, A. Kuo, and J. Izatt. Automatic Optical Coherence Tomography Imaging of Stationary and Moving Eyes with a Robotically-Aligned Scanner. IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May, 2019. pdf ICRA video
  • B. Keller, M. Draelos, G. Tang, S. Farsiu, A. N. Kuo, K. Hauser, and J. A. Izatt. Real-time Corneal Segmentation and 3D Needle Tracking in Intrasurgical OCT. Biomedical Optics Express, 9(6):2716-2732, June 2018. link
  • M. Draelos, B. Keller, G. Tang, A. Kuo, K. Hauser, and J. Izatt.Real-Time Image-Guided Cooperative Robotic Assist Device for Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty. IEEE Intl Conf. on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2018. pdf ICRA video
Image of a robot and microscope
Our experimental workstation, consisting of a microscope, OCT system, visualization, robot, and artificial anterior chamber for holding cadaver corneas.
OCT images of human insertion and robot insertion
Due to the limitations of human motor control, needle insertion in DALK is a relatively unreliable procedure. Our robotic system can achieve smoother and more accurate motions.
Video accompanying Draelos et al 2018, describing the robot in cooperative assistance mode.
Video accompanying Draelos et al 2019, describing a robotic automatic alignment system for OCT imaging of the eye for free-standing subjects.
Video accompanying Tian et al 2020, describing a initial steps toward OCT-guided microsuturing.