New UCL centre for surgical and interventional sciences

7 December 2016

UCL has today received over £13million from Wellcome and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for a new surgical interventions centre.

The Wellcome/EPSRC Centre for Surgical and Interventional Sciences at UCL will bring together a wide team of engineering and clinical experts working to develop the new surgical technologies.

In particular, the Centre will advance engineering sciences in intraoperative imaging and sensing, data fusion and extraction, human-technology interfaces, tissue modelling, interventional instrumentation and surgical navigation.

These advances will create an intuitive and highly personalised surgical platform that enables more precise, less invasive procedures. Greater precision will also mean more patients will be viable for complicated but life-altering surgery and those treated will benefit from safer, more localised treatments and a shorter recovery time in hospital.
Centre director, Professor Sebastien Ourselin, said:

Being able to apply our excellence in engineering to the field of surgical and interventional sciences will allow us to come up with truly innovative solutions to the range of clinical problems surgeons face. Our research will be developed in close collaboration with UCL’s six specialist research hospitals to ensure we are producing world-class, high-impact results.

Building on the combination of research from the Institute of Healthcare Engineering and the National Institute for Health Research University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre, the support of this new funding will allow for significant progress in this field.


Brain Imaging

The Centre will be based at Charles Bell House which is undergoing refurbishment as part of Transforming UCL. The new space will house state of the art facilities, allowing Centre-affiliated researchers from the Institute of Healthcare Engineering, the Division of Surgery and Interventional Sciences and the Centre for Medical Imaging to combine expertise on this ambitious project.

The Centre will partner with specialist hospitals associated with UCL to ensure fast translation of technology to the clinic. These include University College Hospital, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Royal Free Hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and Moorfields Eye Hospital.

The fundamental research themes which will link the Centre’s interdisciplinary and cross-faculty groups include:

  • Physiological Navigation, focusing on fusing anatomical, physiological and pathological information for real-time interventional guidance and monitoring;
  • Clinical Experience, focusing on optimising the cognitive and ergonomic workload of the entire clinical team;
  • Precision Instrumentation, focusing on designing interventional medical devices that both sense physiological/pathological information and interact with tissue to deliver therapy.
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