Laparoscopic surgery relies on using rigid endoscopic cameras to visualize patient’s anatomy. This requires a separate incision and places the camera right over the working area where there’s often lots of splatter and condensation that gunks up the lens. At the University of Wisconsin, Madison work is underway to overcome these challenges using groups of cameras attached to laparoscopic surgical tools.
The researchers, led by Hongrui Jian, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, have developed technology that uses arrays of variable focus cameras to capture a wide field image that can be reconstructed into a 3D visualization. While the technology is still in its early stages, the team envisions a group of cameras attached to the proximal end of the scope through which instruments are introduced. When inside, the cameras would open up like an umbrella, separating from each other and gaining a slightly different perspective on the scene. Each of the instruments would have such a camera array attached to them and video from them all would be combined to produce a high definition 3D video of the scene.
Because the cameras would remain close to the abdominal wall, there’s less chance for splatter to hit any of the lenses. Moreover, having a number of cameras would allow the system to compensate for anything that may obscure some of the cameras from producing a quality image.
Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison…