[robotics-worldwide] [jobs] PhD Position in Medical Microrobotics at LIRMM, Montpellier, France

Yassine Haddab yassine.haddab at umontpellier.fr
Mon Apr 30 07:28:32 PDT 2018


Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD position (36 months) in medical microrobotics in France. 

Students with a strong background in mechatronics are encouraged to apply. Skills in instrumentation, signal processing, and/or medical robotics would be appreciated. 


Topic 
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Artificial palpation elastography for increased perception in transoral cancer surgery of the base of the tongue. 

Context 
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In the context of cancer treatment, minimally invasive robotic surgery (MIRS) allows the resection of tumours that are difficult to access using conventional techniques, with an increase in the quality of resection and functional consequences. In particular, for cancer of the base of the tongue, surgery is the preferred primary treatment. For tumours affecting rigid organs such as bones, preoperative imaging (CT or MRI), combined in particular with intraoperative navigation, enables the tumour and its borders to be reliably located during the operation. This is not the case with soft tissues such as the tongue. Indeed, the soft and largely extensible tissues constituting this organ lead to an imprecise recognition of the limits of the tumours during the operation with a risk of insufficient or incomplete resection or, on the contrary, the removal of healthy tissues. 
For this type of tumor, traditional resection methods (without robotic assistance) are performed using an open surgical approach. Palpation with the finger of the base of the tongue is performed by the surgeon in order to identify, intraoperatively, the contours of the tumour and thus guide the resection procedure. Indeed, this procedure allows the surgery to establish a link between the mapping obtained by tactile sensation and the results of preoperative imaging. This identification is possible thanks to the difference in the elastic properties of tumour tissues and healthy tissues. 
In MIRS, the oral canal is blocked by the introduced robotic instruments and by the endoscope which allows a visualization of the intervention site. Intraoperative identification of the tumour by direct palpation of the finger (as done in open surgery) is then impossible without removing the instruments (thus temporary stop of the surgery in progress) and any tactile sensation is lost. 
The LIRMM (Laboratoire d'Informatique, de Robotique et de Microélectronique de Montpellier - UMR CNRS 5506) and the CHU (Centre Hospitalier Universitaire) of Montpellier are joining forces for the proposed work which consists in designing, fabricating and operating an artificial palpation device for medical applications. The thesis is funded by ISITE MUSE (Montpellier University of Excellence). https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__muse.edu.umontpellier.fr_en_muse-2Di-2Dsite_&d=DwIFaQ&c=clK7kQUTWtAVEOVIgvi0NU5BOUHhpN0H8p7CSfnc_gI&r=0w3solp5fswiyWF2RL6rSs8MCeFamFEPafDTOhgTfYI&m=zLn84wUpOpCAdQXdvRu7to1URCZ_hBC4OPMe5XZxOaQ&s=TL1M66eHqHveYFnYiDOJZpkueM156jar-iItLX2bguA&e= 

Ph.D. Objectives 
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The objective of this thesis is to develop a device allowing the palpation of the base of the tongue to identify the contours of a tumour intraoperatively, which can be used for robotic surgery and therefore in an obstructed environment. The proposed concept, very different from existing devices, uses principles derived from microtechnologies to obtain a miniaturized device for mapping the tongue base. The development of such an innovative device represents a real international positioning opportunity that can be extended to other palpation applications in confined medical environments. 
To carry out his work, the PhD student will rely on the skills of the management team (LIRMM DEXTER team) in the fields of design, implementation and control of systems for medical applications and on interactions with hospital practitioners (Montpellier University Hospital). 

Work program 
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The work planned within the framework of this PhD thesis could be structured around the following guidelines: 
- state of the art on artificial palpation ; 
- study of the characteristics of healthy and tumoral tissues; 
- proposal of concepts for artificial probing devices ; 
- design, implementation and evaluation of new devices; 
- tests on artificial benches; 
- preclinical tests based on laboratory performance. 
The PhD student will be located at the LIRMM (Montpellier - France) but will occasionally have to move to the medical faculty of the University of Montpellier and to the Montpellier University Hospital. They are all close to each other. 

Applicant profile 
---------------------- 

According to the characteristics of this PhD proposal, the applicant must have a background in mechatronics or a related field. He must hold a Master's degree or equivalent (engineering degree). Skills in instrumentation, signal processing, and/or medical robotics would be appreciated. 


Expected beginning 
-------------------------- 

September 2018. Duration: 36 months. 

Advisors 
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Yassine HADDAB 
Professor at Université de Montpellier 
Laboratoire LIRMM - UMR 5506 - CC 477 
161 rue Ada, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 5 
France 
e-mail: yassine.haddab at lirmm.fr 
Phone: +33 4 67 41 85 57 

Nabil ZEMITI 
Associate Professor at Université de Montpellier 
Laboratoire LIRMM - UMR 5506 - CC 477 
161 rue Ada, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 5 
France 
e-mail: nabil.zemiti at lirmm.fr 
Phone: +33 4 67 41 86 78 



-- 
------------------------------------------------------ 

Yassine HADDAB 

Professor at Université de Montpellier 
Laboratoire LIRMM - UMR 5506 - CC 477 
161 rue Ada, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 5 
FRANCE 

e-mail : yassine.haddab at lirmm.fr 

phone : +33 4 67 41 85 57 



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