2009 Summer Project Week Slicer

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Key Investigators

  • BWH: Jayender Jagadeesan, Nobuhiko Hata, Greg Michaud


We will incorporate a continuum robot model in Slicer to simulate flexible surgical instruments. In addition, we will also integrate a virtual catheter module with Slicer to aid in the navigation of the surgical tool to the target location.

Approach, Plan

A model based on continuum dynamics has been developed to describe a flexible surgical instrument (catheters, endoscopes etc.). The model accurately describes the bending of the tool in both possible directions and also allows for the extensibility of the catheter. We will integrate this model with Slicer. In addition, we will also develop a virtual catheter module to aid in the navigation of the tool to the target location by providing magnified views of the anatomy as seen from the tool tip.


The project pursued at the IGT week is an effort spanning over a few weeks.

  • We have integrated with Slicer the continuum robot model, which describes the kinematics and dynamics of the catheter. The user interacts with this model by means of a haptic device which provides the desired catheter tip position (sent over OpenIGTLink to Slicer). Based on this position, the configuration of the catheter is computed by means of inverse kinematics and is rendered in Slicer.
  • An additional window has been integrated with the module to provide a magnified view of the left atrium. The additional window is based on the SecondaryWindow Module developed by Andras (Queen's university).
  • The magnified view also consists of 2D arrow actors that helps the clinician guide the distal end of the catheter towards the target.


  • J. Jayender, R.V. Patel, G.F. Michaud, N. Hata, "Optimal Transseptal Puncture Location for Left Atrial Cardiac Ablation", MICCAI 2009 (accepted).

Implemented based on