Monday, July 30, 2012

Conference Report: Pediatric bioengineering innovations presented at international symposia

Guest post by Kevin Cleary, PhD, and Katherine Davenport, MD

The Bioengineering Initiative of the Sheikh Zayed Institute was well represented at two recent important meetings in Europe. At the Computer Aided Radiology and Surgery (CARS) conference in Pisa from June 27-30, institute members gave four talks and presented four posters. At the Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics at the Imperial College London from July 1-3, institute members gave a talk, organized a special session, and presented two posters.

Our participation in these meetings elevates pediatric-focused device development to the international bioengineering stage. We are able to share with colleagues around the world how building tools specifically for children’s surgery can benefit the field of medical engineering as a whole.

The CARS conference is a leading forum for the latest advances in topics such as image-guided interventions, computer-aided surgery, and surgical navigation. The conference has four tracks and more than 800 people attended, including a good mix of clinicians, scientists, and engineers. The Children’s team organized a special session on pediatrics that consisted of five talks. Dr. Davenport presented on the “Challenges in Pediatric Laparoscopic Surgery” and focused on the unique characteristics of minimally invasive surgery in children. Raj Shekhar, PhD, described his work on augmented reality for pediatric laparoscopic surgery, including a prototype system that has been built and should be in clinical trials by the end of the year. More information on the conference can be found at

The Hamlyn Symposium was a more focused meeting that was hosted by the robotics group at Imperial College London and had about 100 attendees, which included both clinical and technical personnel. Dr. Cleary, presented posters titled “Robotic NOTES: System Concept and Architecture” and “Navigated endoscopy: prototype system for robotically assisted ureteroscopy.” Dr. Cleary also co-chaired a special session on Augmented Reality in Medicine where both he and Dr. Davenport presented. More information on the conference can be found at

Attendees at the Hamlyn Symposium view the special session, "Augmented Reality in Medicine."

 --Kevin Cleary is the Technical Director of the Bioengineering Initiative for the Sheikh Zayed Institute. Katherine Davenport was a member of the 2011 class of Joseph E. Robert, Jr., Fellows in Pediatric Surgical Innovation. 

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