Master assignment Biomedical Engineering, Applied Physics, or Electrical Engineering
In our Magnetic Detection & Imaging group a laparoscopic route to detect sentinel lymph nodes in cancer patients is being developed (https://www.utwente.nl/en/tnw/mdi/research/Magnetic%20Detection/laparoscopy-project/). Sentinel lymph node biopsy is a tool to determine if tumor cells have spread through the body of cancer patients and, consequently, improve a patient’s prognosis and treatment. Our current prototype is suitable for use during open surgery. However, to decrease the diameter of the probe to meet the laparoscopic requirements, mechanical separation of the detection and excitation coils is being realized. By separating them, the excitation coil can be large and placed underneath a patient, while the detection coils can be small and fit through standard 12 mm laparoscopic trocars. This new way of handheld detection has several challenges, due to the fact that the detection coils can move with respect to the excitation coil. Currently, a new prototype is being developed as a first step to realize a fully usable laparoscopic magnetic detector to be used during minimal invasive surgery for sentinel lymph node detection.
The excitation field consists of two parts: an alternating (AC) and an offset (DC) field. The detection signal is hindered by the AC part of the excitation field. In the case of separated excitation and detection coils, we need to actively compensate for the AC excitation field. However, it might be better to split the AC and DC part of the excitation coil. In this new setup, the AC excitation coil and the detection coils are large and placed underneath the patient. The DC excitation coil (which might be replaced with a permanent magnet) will be small and used inside the abdomen.
During this assignment, you will have the opportunity to investigate this new concept for the laparoscopic application. You will build a new setup and perform many experiments. The goal of the assignment is to compare this new concept with the current prototype and to analyze which route is most promising for clinical implementation.
For more information you can contact Melissa van de Loosdrecht (firstname.lastname@example.org)