Kinesins are motor proteins in eukaryotic cells powered by ATP hydrolysis. These proteins are involved in various cellular functions including cell division. In particular, Kinesin-5 (also known as KIF11 and Eg5) is essential to forming the microtubule spindle structure in mitosis; therefore, this protein is a potential target for chemotherapeutics. Chimeric kinesin proteins, comprising one or more regions from at least two kinesin proteins, are valuable tools to study the molecular mechanism of kinesin function as well as to identify agents that affect kinesin motor function.
Inventors at Vanderbilt University have developed a novel chemical design and synthesis process for azulene-based COX2 contrast agents which can be used for molecular imaging, via a variety of imaging techniques. These COX2 probes can be utilized for numerous applications, including imaging cancers and inflammation caused by arthritis and cardiovascular diseases. The process for developing these COX2 contrast agents has been significantly improved through a convergent synthesis process which reduces the required steps to establish the COX2 precursors.
This technology uses a novel continuum robot that provides a steerable channel to enable safe surgical access to the anatomy of a patient. This robotic device has a wide range of clinical application and is a significant advance from the rigid tools currently used in minimally invasive procedures.
Vanderbilt researchers have developed a novel method for contactless simulation of the central nervous system. This technique involves the use of infrared neural stimulation (INS) to evoke the observable action potentials from neurons of the central nervous system. While infrared neural stimulation of the peripheral nervous system was accomplished almost a decade ago, this is the first technique for infrared stimulation of the central nervous system.
A team of Vanderbilt engineers and surgeons has developed a novel bone and tissue graft placement device, primarily for use in the nasal and skull base cavities. The device uses a unique grasping technique to provide control and finesse in the placement of such grafts in addition to combining the roles of multiple instruments into a single device. The clinical purpose of this tool is to provide surgeons with an instrument that can grasp, place, and manipulate rigid and non-rigid graft materials in a controlled manner for skull base reconstruction; such control is very desirable in order to recreate a sound bony barrier that separates the intracranial and extracranial spaces.
This invention presents a robotic wrist and gripper that operate with three independent degrees of freedom (yaw, pitch and roll) for increased dexterity in minimally invasive surgical procedures. This is the smallest robotic wrist of its kind, and due to its size and unparalleled dexterity, this wrist enables complex surgical maneuvers for minimally invasive procedures in highly confined spaces. Examples of surgical areas benefiting from use of this wrist include natural orifice surgery, single port access surgery, and minimally invasive surgery. In particular, the proposed wrist allows for very high precision roll about the longitudinal axis of the gripper while overcoming problems of run-out motion typically encountered in existing wrists. Thus this wrist is particularly suitable for extreme precision maneuvers for micro-surgery in confined spaces.
This technology enhances the capabilities of continuum robots by not only detecting contact during movement but also estimating the position of the contact during the movements executed by the robot. An algorithmic feedback loop can then constrain the movement of the robot to avoid damage to its robot arm, damage to another robot arm or damage to surrounding structure. Applications for this technology include enhanced safe telemanipulation for multi-arm continuum robots in surgery, micro-assembly in confined spaces, and exploration in unknown environments.
This technology, developed in Vanderbilt University's Advanced Robotics and Mechanism Applications Laboratory, uses a minimally invasive telerobotic platform to perform transurethral procedures, such as transurethral resection. This robotic device provides high levels of precision and dexterity that improve patient outcomes in transurethral procedures.
Researchers at Vanderbilt University have developed a revolutionary method for incorporating nanodiamond particles into an existing polymer matrix. The resulting composite materials have greatly enhanced mechanical and chemical properties that can be tailored during this process.
A team of Vanderbilt engineers and surgeons have developed a new steerable needle that can make needle based biopsy and therapy delivery more accurate. A novel flexure-based tip design provides enhanced steerability while simultaneously minimizing tissue damage. The present device is useful for almost any needle-based procedure including biopsy, thermal ablation, brachytherapy, and drug delivery.
Inventors at Vanderbilt University have developed a non-robotic dexterous laparoscopic manipulator with a wrist providing seven-degrees-of-freedom. It provides an interface which intuitively maps motion of the surgeon's hands to the tool's "hands". The novel user interface approach provides a natural mapping of motion from the surgeon's hands to the instrument tips.
This technology enables continuum robots (aka snake robots) to precisely navigate the intricate structures of deep anatomical passages during minimally invasive or natural orifice surgery. Collateral surgical damage is minimized by the force sensing capabilities of the algorithms used.
Vanderbilt Medical Center researchers have developed a non-invasive and reproducible method of assessing right-ventricular function using contrast-echocardiography. The right-ventricular transit time (RVTT) measures the time needed for echocardiographic contrast to travel from the RV to the bifurcation of the main pulmonary artery. Coupled with the pulmonary transit time (PTT), the time needed for contrast to traverse the entire pulmonary circulation, RVTT is part of a family of diagnostic parameters that can report on RV-specific performance as well as the RV's function relative to that of the pulmonary circuit as a whole.