The University of Kentucky Center for Visualization & Virtual Environments

Improving Surgery with Multi-Spectral Imaging

Our sense of vision tells us much of what we know about the world around us; yet the human eye is only capable of sensing a very narrow spectrum of the light it receives, in wavelengths from about 400 to 700 nm. Current research being conducted at the Vis Center is investigating the possibility that broadening the range of imaged light could greatly improve a surgeon’s ability to identify anatomical features in minimally invasive surgery, adding visual cues not even available during open surgery.

Recently at the Emerging Technology Session of the 2010 World Congress of Endoscopic Surgery hosted by the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons Matt Field, Vis Center Software Engineer, presented a poster describing a new research initiative into multi-spectral imaging. Entitled “Assessment of Multi-Spectral Imaging for Enhanced Visualization in Minimally Invasive Surgery”, the poster described early results from research with tissue samples.

The future application of this research will be to incorporate the findings of the experimental system into a prototype multi-spectral endoscope. An LED-based endoscopic light source will be modified to include these new light spectra. As this work is at a very early stage, testing will continue to conclusively determine the best possibilities for image enhancement.

Developing More Accurate Ways to Scan the Human Iris

The human iris is one of the most accurate ways to recognize an individual. While algorithms for iris recognition have been studied and commercialized, it is still a challenge to make iris biometric systems less intrusive. Because the human iris is very small high quality iris images with sufficient resolution are difficult to capture. Most commercial iris biometric systems require users to stand close to the camera while remaining still for several seconds or even moving back and forth according to voice prompts. Often with less-than- ideal iris images, blurred images are captured. The goal of this project was to create a means to restore iris patterns for successful recognitions based on image deblurring techniques.

Through this project, the research team developed a novel iris deblurring algorithm that makes use of prior knowledge obtained from the statistics of iris images, the characteristics of pupil and highlight regions, and the depth information from the capture system. An iris capture system was built using a commercial off-the-shelf camera and a depth sensor to evaluate the performance of the algorithm. Experiments show that our iris deblurring algorithm can significantly restore blurred iris patterns and make iris capture less intrusive.

Vis Center Research Highlighted on Israel National Radio

The Vis Center’s Matt Field, a computer scientist who plays an integral role in the EDUCE imaging research, was interviewed on Israel National Radio yesterday. Highlights of the one hour segment included the ground breaking scanning process used in Paris this past summer on the Herculcneum scrolls along with the scanning of the Venetus A manuscript in Venice in 2007.

Listen to the show.

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