[Jobs] PhD position on "Vibro-acoustic sensing for enhanced robotic pedicle screw placement"

This PhD project aims at developing a vibro-acoustic method to detect imminent bone breach during robotic pedicle screw placement.

Vibro-acoustics is one key non-visual sensing method, using vibrational and acoustic information. Vibro-acoustics already has shown its merits in the assessment of fixation of orthopaedic and dental implants. Moreover, it will be investigated whether vibro-acoustic data can predict the quality of the bone tissue, predicting the possible fixation of pedicle screws. To this end, different probabilistic models can be derived each with their own predictive power. The validity and predictive power of the most promising models will be verified experimentally. Sensor fusion can be applied to elevate the confidence, accuracy and robustness of the parameter estimates.

The successful applicant will become part of the Smart Instrumentation team of the division of Biomechanical Engineering, and of the Robot Assisted Surgery (RAS) group, both in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Smart Instrumentation and RAS are growing, multi-disciplinary groups with a strong emphasis on the development of new surgical instruments and assistive technology for medical applications, integrating novel sensing and modelling techniques to improve the execution of complex safety-critical tasks in highly unstructured and variable environments such as e.g. the human body. The teams offer a positive and dynamic work environment embedded in a multi-disciplinary network with other research groups in the Department, the broader university and UZ Leuven, the University Hospital, which is also the largest hospital in the country.

Find out more, including how to apply for this position here.

Kathleen Denis
Kathleen Denis
Associate Professor - Electromechanical Engineering
Emmanuel Vander Poorten
Emmanuel Vander Poorten
Associate Professor - Surgical Robotics, Haptic Interfacing, Medical Devices, Surgical Training