The Division of Division of General and Oncologic Surgery, through its Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery, and sections of Surgical Oncology and GI Surgery, is working with various biomedical engineering, imaging, simulation and robotics and manufacturing centers to develop new advanced technologies and medical diagnostics and treatments. In some instances, the needs of the surgeon are being looked at as well. More ergonomic instruments are being designed, for example. Hand and arm position of surgeons and repetitive motion of surgical procedures are being researched to design instruments and operative suites that reduce fatigue and allow a better range of operative motion.
The University of Maryland will be working collaboratively with the University of Kentucky on a joint Department of Defense (DOD) project. A TATRC grant to aimed at surgical simulation and the study of surgical ergonomics is currently underway.
Current development has produced a frame rate accumulation technique that improves the contrast and luminance of the image produced by the laparoscopic camera.
A database of images characterized by wavelet decomposition will allow software to recognize real patient structures and tissue in real time. This will aid surgeons in identifying structures more readily, allowing less invasive surgery.
Instruments are being developed now that will allow the surgeon tactile feedback and that have calibration devices and micro-electromechanical machines that automatically adjust the imaging process and perform precision movements.
Basic medical and science research is conducted in an ongoing fashion with both bench and clinical work being performed in the department.