/Computer Assisted Medical Instrument Navigation

Computer Assisted Medical Instrument Navigation

Mailing Address:

Carnegie Mellon University
Robotics Institute
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Project Homepage


Our project is to build a system to help clinicians to precisely navigate various catheters inside human hearts. These catheters could be ablation catheters for left atrium ablation procedure which cures Atrial Fibrillation. They can also be medicine injection catheters or other kinds of catheters for different procedures. With our navigation system, doctors can perform complex heart surgeries without opening patients?#146; chest. It also makes many procedures more efficient and easier to execute; thus more patients can be treated.

Our navigation system employees a 3D ultrasound catheter which can quickly scan the shape of the inner heart wall in real time (we call this “Virtual Touch”) during the operation and then registers this intra-operative shape measurement with pre-operative high resolution CT images to enable realtime and precise navigation of medical instruments inside a human heart.

Because the heart is beating, to capture and navigate in a living heart, we use 4D (3D space + time) registration and navigation. All shape measurements will be synchronized by ECG (EKG) signals and registered with our time-space registration algorithm using EM.