Healthcare Optics Research Laboratory

Established on the foundation of Canon U.S.A.’s corporate philosophy, Kyosei, in November 2012, Canon entered into collaborative research agreements with Massachusetts General Hospital, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital to develop biomedical optical imaging and medical robotics technologies.

This collaboration lead to the opening of the Healthcare Optics Research Laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts in June 2013.

The research laboratory is approximately 13,600 square feet and is the home of skilled employees dedicated to developing biomedical optical imaging and medical robotics technologies with the ultimate goal of bringing medical devices to market for a variety of applications.

The areas that the technology will address include:

  • Image Guided Therapy
  • Miniature Endoscopic Imaging
  • Functional Imaging

Healthcare Optics Research Laboratory, Canon U.S.A. is working in conjunction with its parent company, Canon Inc.

Image Guided Therapy

Image guided therapies provide better outcome by improving diagnostic accuracy and targeted treatment for diseased tissue. Research in image guided therapy includes, a robotic device for guidance of percutaneous interventions of abdominal and thoracic cavity, and a combination of targeted agent delivery and image guided platform to improve treatment efficacy. The overall purpose is to develop platform technologies for broader applications. One application, among many others, for our robotic device is image-guided cryotherapy of kidney canceri.

[i] Nobuhiko Hata, Sang-Eun Song, Olutayo Olubiyi, Yasumichi Arimitsu, Kosuke Fujimoto, Takahisa Kato, Kemal Tuncali, Soichiro Tani and Junichi Tokuda, Body-mounted robotic instrument guide for image-guided cryotherapy of renal cancer, Medical Physics. 43, 843 (2016).

Miniature Endoscopic Imaging

Overall objective is to expand the applications of minimally invasive diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy to areas currently considered unreachable. This project utilizes Canon's strong expertise in innovative imaging and optics solutions and is focused on developing an ultra thin, human hair size, high resolution endoscope that will produce three dimensional images, while enabling direct visualization of 'hard to see' anatomies.

Additionally, a parallel project is focusing on the ability of an endoscope to maneuver through small anatomical spaces by developing robotic multipoint motion. This technology allows to control and navigate, on demand, an endoscope tethered to a console for application in neurosurgery, orthopedics, and laryngoscopyi ii.

[i]  Takahisa Kato, Ichiro Okumura, Hidekazu Kose, Kiyoshi Takagi, Nobuhiko Hata. Tendon-driven continuum robot for neuroendoscopy: validation of extended kinematic mapping for hysteresis operation, International Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery, pp 1-14, First online: 17 October 2015

[ii] Takahisa Kato, Ichiro Okumura, Sang-Eun Song, Alexandra J. Golby, and Nobuhiko Hata, Tendon-Driven Continuum Robot for Endoscopic Surgery: Preclinical Development and Validation of a Tension Propagation Model, IEEE/ASME TRANSACTIONS ON MECHATRONICS, VOL. 20, NO. 5, OCTOBER 2015.

Functional Imaging

Despite advances in imaging technologies, coronary artery disease is still the most common cause of death globally. A number of factors are associated with acute coronary event and understanding its complex relationship with vulnerable plaque could play a key role in managing patient population at risk. Canon efforts are geared towards developing an advanced imaging system and arterial catheter capable of simultaneously obtaining high quality information that enable accurate diagnosis and longitudinal management of disease. Basic principle relies on expanding the scope of imaging from three dimensional structural information to molecular and mechanical properties of coronary plaques. Different methods of understanding both, tissue molecular and mechanical properties are currently being investigated.

Additional research efforts are focused on functional imaging of brain for better understanding of physiological parameters impacted due to an injury or medical treatment such as anesthesia. Technical development includes non-invasive bed side quantification of blood flow and oxygenation to cerebral tissue.

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