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.

Redesigning the User Experience in Public Transportation

Students are applying their studies to real world problems by focusing on creating an easier to use overall system for the Lexington public transportation system, LexTran. Melody Carswell, Associate Director of the Vis Center, is giving graduate students from the Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science and Instructional Design departments the opportunity to apply usability and human factors engineering in a real world setting. During the spring semester “Senior Capstone” course in psychology, Dr. Carswell is having students coordinate efforts to work on the usability issues surrounding a large-scale public service — LexTran.

In cooperation with LexTran management, they have been observing and evaluating the customer experience, including common errors and frustrations associated with system use. Students are designing mock-ups of possible solutions to signage and display issues. The students’ projects are focused on developing a more easily communicated “overall model” for system operation, redesigning information at the downtown Transit Center, redesigning the web site for greater usability and applying new technologies and techniques to help riders keep track of the where they while using the system.

The class will be sharing project results and presenting the ideas to LexTran officials at the end of April.

The Art of Planning the New Marksbury Building

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