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RI Seminar: Pierre E. Dupont
Creating Robots for Ultra-minimally Invasive Surgery

Pierre E. Dupont
Boston Children Hospital, Harvard Medical School

September 20, 2013, 3:30-4:30PM, NSH 1305

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Image-guided minimally invasive surgery has revolutionized the standard of care throughout the body. While robotics has been an important part of the solution for certain laparoscopic procedures, its impact has been limited by the size and straight-line access requirement of many existing robotic systems. Our lab is investigating smaller, less-invasive robot technologies and two will be described in this talk. The first is a type of continuum robot that is based on concentrically combining pre-curved elastic tubes. We are designing these robots together with a tool set with the goal of converting intracardiac procedures currently performed as open-heart surgery to percutaneous, beating-heart interventions. We are also developing tetherless robots that can move or swim inside the body and that are powered, controlled and imaged using an MRI scanner. Applications of this technology at several length scales will be discussed including robotic implants for applying tissue traction forces and millimeter-scale robots for targeted drug delivery.

Additional Information

Host: Howie Choset

Appointments: Stephanie Matvey (

Speaker Biography

Pierre E. Dupont is Chief of Pediatric Cardiac Bioengineering and holder of the Edward P. Marram Chair at Boston Children’s Hospital. His academic appointments include Visiting Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University. His research group develops robotic instrumentation and imaging technology for minimally invasive surgery. He received the BS, MS and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, USA. After graduation, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA. He subsequently moved to Boston University, Boston, MA, USA where, until 2009, he was a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. His group has received a number of paper awards including the King-Sun Fu Best Paper Award of the IEEE Transactions on Robotics in 2010 and the IEEE ICRA Best Medical Robotics Paper Award in 2012. He is an IEEE Fellow who has served in many capacities with the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society.