The thermal impact of laser ablation during minimal invasive surgery of biologic hard and soft tissues

Background: Musculoskeletal diseases, liver cancers, or brain cancers affect millions of people in ageing societies world wide and cause a significant loss of quality of life. 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 or vessels. We have developed a computational framework to investigate the thermal impact of pulsed laser ablation on bone tissue and we would like to extend this to soft tissues such as the brain and the liver to supply a tool that may help to improve treatment strategies.

Project: Therefore, this project aims at investigating the heat impact during pulsed laser ablation for bone, brain, and liver tissue and our objectives are

  1. speed up the current computational framework.
  2. extend the existing computational framework to evaluate heat impact of pulsed laser ablation to account for brain and liver tissue.
  3. use the framework to identify admissible operating parameters that avoid thermal damage in the boundary layer between ablated material and healthy tissue

Impact: If successful, this project will inform minimal invasive surgery technologies.

Other Comments: 

Multiple projects are possible.

Supervisor name: 
Uwe Wolfram
Supervisor and Deputy email addresses: 
u.wolfram@hw.ac.uk
Project location: 
Project is computational so that remote supervision is possible
Deputy name: 
Sam McPhee