Simulating laser ablation for minimal invasive surgery of biologic hard and soft tissues

Background: Musculoskeletal diseases affect millions of people in ageing societies world wide. Modern treatment strategies heavily rely on minimal invasive surgery procedures which exploit laser based dissection techniques. Although considered a "cold" process, little is know about the heat impact on the material during the ablation process. This has potential implications for surgical procedures close to critical tissues such as nerves.

Project: Therefore, this project aims at investigating the heat impact during pulsed laser ablation. The project builds on an existing simulations suite which is able to simulate the heat impact on bone tissue and key tasks include

  1. extend the finite element based evaluation of the heat impact of a pulsed laser on bone to other tissue such as brain, liver, or gut.
  2. use the model to identify admissible operating parameters that avoid thermal damage of the surrounding material

Impact: If successful, this project will inform minimal invasive surgery technologies. In addition, the results will have direct, positive impact on state of the art preparation technologies used in different laboratories at Heriot-Watt University.

Supervisor name: 
Uwe Wolfram
Supervisor and Deputy email addresses:
Project location: 
Project is computational so that remote supervision is possible
Deputy name: 
Jonathan Shephard