EPSRC UK IMAGE-GUIDED THERAPIES NETWORK+

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Medical Physics and Biomedical Eng

Abstract

Image-guided therapy (IGT) combines simulation and modelling, imaging and sensing, computing, robotics as well as visualisation to improve the localisation and targeting of pathological tissue with surgical instruments and focused energy delivery. With the widespread acceptance of minimally invasive interventions, IGT is increasingly important for enhancing the capabilities of the surgeon and advancing the frontiers of interventional capabilities. Translating IGT innovation into clinical practice relies on effective collaboration, knowledge dissemination and sharing, because IGT is a cross-disciplinary and cross-modality field in which physicians, physicists, engineers, and computer scientists work jointly to build solutions. Deploying such solutions in clinical practice relies on effective management of the workflow and ergonomics of technology in the interventional theatre and on information exchange between systems within well-defined secure protocols that can pass regulatory certification and patient safety standardisation. The diversity and complexity of IGT systems positions this domain as a critical field to advance the possibilities of physical interventions through a coordinated effort, discussion, road mapping and vision that can only be facilitated through an EPSRC UK-IGT Network+.

Planned Impact

The primary impact of this proposal is to create a network to fertilise and enhance collaboration across UK IGT and promote relationships with industry and stakeholders with the ability to clinically translate IGT to realise patient benefits.

The Network's objectives of bridging EPSRC UK-IGT research activities among disparate research institutions and cultivating cross-disciplinary research ideas for future collaborative proposal submission will be achieved through a hierarchy of planned activities. With focused levels of engagement, the beneficiaries of the planned activities range from the entire community, to the partnerships within the Network, and, finally, the promotion of talented researchers that seek to work across the established IGT research themes and centres.

There are an estimated 3,100 medical devices companies in the UK, 80% of which are SMEs, which employ around 64,000 employees, and have an estimated turnover of £15B. As well as established companies, a vibrant UK SME community is emerging in the area of image-guided therapy, and our Network can have a key role to play in expanding this activity.

Publications

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Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
EP/N027078/1 01/06/2016 08/04/2018 £639,288
EP/N027078/2 Transfer EP/N027078/1 13/06/2018 31/01/2020 £463,769
 
Description The Image-Guided Therapies (IGT) Network has grown significantly since its start in April 2016. There are now 183 current members (Industry:16; Research:132; Students:35) of the network across four key themes (Theme 1 - Intervention planning and real-time computational: 41; Theme 2 - Focused energy delivery and motion compensation: 21; Theme 3 - Interventional imaging, sensing and contrast agents: 78 & Theme 4 - Clinical workflow, skills assessment and simulation: 15). Monthly newsletters to members with news, funding calls, successes, jobs, conference details and an active website have contributed to new members constantly joining.

Two Network Management Group meetings have been held where senior representatives from Network+ partners serve to promote the IGT network within their Institution and amongst their collaborators and advise the best running of the network.
Exploitation Route Three IGT network meetings have been held - one in June 2016 at University College London (95 attendees, 18 institutions, 8 companies, 35 posters), another in November 2016 at the University of Edinburgh (64 attendees, 19 institutions, 28 posters) and most recently this March at the University of Sheffield (60 attendees, 14 institutions, 25 posters). The meetings provide a great opportunity to network with others working in the IGT area and scientific talks, clinical and industrial presentations, talks from EPSRC and a poster session all stimulate discussion, debate and collaboration.
Sectors Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

 
Description Mobility award - Mihnea Turcanu 
Organisation King's College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The aim of this call is to provide training for Early Career Researchers them the opportunity to work closely with their peers and transfer knowledge and know-how between partner institutions. The Image-Guided Therapies community have been invited to apply for Early Career Researchers from IGT Network+ partners to spend up to six months at a partner IGT Network+ institution. This award is about "Drug Delivery and Imaging for Enhanced Uptake in the GI tract". The PhD student has started their 3 month placement at King's.
Collaborator Contribution King's College London hosting the PhD student for 3 months
Impact On-going
Start Year 2018
 
Description Mobility award - Mihnea Turcanu 
Organisation University of Glasgow
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The aim of this call is to provide training for Early Career Researchers them the opportunity to work closely with their peers and transfer knowledge and know-how between partner institutions. The Image-Guided Therapies community have been invited to apply for Early Career Researchers from IGT Network+ partners to spend up to six months at a partner IGT Network+ institution. This award is about "Drug Delivery and Imaging for Enhanced Uptake in the GI tract". The PhD student has started their 3 month placement at King's.
Collaborator Contribution King's College London hosting the PhD student for 3 months
Impact On-going
Start Year 2018
 
Description PhD mobility call - June 2016 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The aim of this call is to provide training for the PhD students giving them the opportunity to work closely with their peers and transfer knowledge and know-how between partner institutions. The Image-Guided Therapies community have been invited to apply for PhD students from IGT Network+ partners to spend three months at a partner IGT Network+ institution. This award is about "NiftyPlex: A real-time multiplexed image computing platform". So far the teams have organised the first stay of student at UCL which included a productive week during which student was introduced to the foetal surgery team and had the opportunity to discuss work with the clinical leads.
Collaborator Contribution None yet
Impact None yet
Start Year 2017
 
Description PoC award - Adrian Podoleanu (Kent) and Ioan Notingher (Nottingham) 
Organisation University of Kent
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The aim of the call is to support postdoctoral research associates from IGT Network+ partners to spend between one to six months at another partner organisation (university or industry; ideally two partners but in practice larger collaborations will be considered), with the host partner preferably contributing further funding to extend secondments (while this matched/additional funding would be preferred it is not essential). These proof-of-concept studies are critical for obtaining pilot data and developing complete EPSRC and other grant applications. The IGT community have been invited to apply for an RA to spend six+ months at a partner IGT institution. This award is for "Feasibility of subsurface imaging and molecular diagnosis of glue ear by a new combined SORS & OCT handheld probe"
Collaborator Contribution Project still being set-up
Impact Project still in set-up stage
Start Year 2018
 
Description PoC award - Adrian Podoleanu (Kent) and Ioan Notingher (Nottingham) 
Organisation University of Nottingham
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The aim of the call is to support postdoctoral research associates from IGT Network+ partners to spend between one to six months at another partner organisation (university or industry; ideally two partners but in practice larger collaborations will be considered), with the host partner preferably contributing further funding to extend secondments (while this matched/additional funding would be preferred it is not essential). These proof-of-concept studies are critical for obtaining pilot data and developing complete EPSRC and other grant applications. The IGT community have been invited to apply for an RA to spend six+ months at a partner IGT institution. This award is for "Feasibility of subsurface imaging and molecular diagnosis of glue ear by a new combined SORS & OCT handheld probe"
Collaborator Contribution Project still being set-up
Impact Project still in set-up stage
Start Year 2018
 
Description PoC award - Christos Bergeles (UCL); Paola Borri (Cardiff); Wolfgang Langbein (Cardiff) 
Organisation Cardiff University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The aim of the call is to support postdoctoral research associates from IGT Network+ partners to spend between one to six months at another partner organisation (university or industry; ideally two partners but in practice larger collaborations will be considered), with the host partner preferably contributing further funding to extend secondments (while this matched/additional funding would be preferred it is not essential). These proof-of-concept studies are critical for obtaining pilot data and developing complete EPSRC and other grant applications. The IGT community have been invited to apply for an RA to spend six+ months at a partner IGT institution. This award is for "Towards cancer-margin assessment with coherent Raman spectroscopy.
Collaborator Contribution Cardiff University is conducting pioneering work on high resolution multimodal hyperspectral coherent Raman microscopes for label-free, yet chemically-specific, cellular imaging. They have designed and engineered custom systems to successfully identify e.g. lipid droplets in living mouse embryos (Bradley, J.et al. 2016, Development 143, pp. 2238-2247) and stem cells (Di Napoli, C.et al. 2016, Analytical Chemistry 88(7), pp. 3677-3685). The microscopes are currently being used to characterise multicellular organoids derived from cancer tissues. Sub-micron spatial resolution is typically required for these studies, which is achieved through tightly focused light via high numerical aperture microscope objectives.
Impact on-going project
Start Year 2017
 
Description PoC award - Danail Stoyanov (UCL) and Anastasios Koulaouzidis (Edinburgh) 
Organisation University College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The aim of the call is to support postdoctoral research associates from IGT Network+ partners to spend between one to six months at another partner organisation (university or industry; ideally two partners but in practice larger collaborations will be considered), with the host partner preferably contributing further funding to extend secondments (while this matched/additional funding would be preferred it is not essential). These proof-of-concept studies are critical for obtaining pilot data and developing complete EPSRC and other grant applications. The IGT community have been invited to apply for an RA to spend six+ months at a partner IGT institution. This award is for "Developing automated objective skills assessment methods in colonoscopy" and the teams have started the collaborative work.
Collaborator Contribution The Endoscopy Unit, Centre for Liver & Digestive Disorders, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh will host the RA fro 6 months. The primary aim of this project is to develop a platform for the quantification and objective assessment of technical skills in colonoscopy by employing novel sensor modalities (e.g. eye tracking) and advanced image processing (deep learning) to analyse-previously unexplored- operational characteristics, associated with the manipulation of surgical equipment (e.g. endoscopes). Through data processing it is feasible to produce novel quantitative metrics that represent technical, dexterous skills and derive analogous expressions to model, analyse and characterise optimum colonoscopy execution.
Impact On-going project
Start Year 2017
 
Description PoC award - Danail Stoyanov (UCL) and Anastasios Koulaouzidis (Edinburgh) 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The aim of the call is to support postdoctoral research associates from IGT Network+ partners to spend between one to six months at another partner organisation (university or industry; ideally two partners but in practice larger collaborations will be considered), with the host partner preferably contributing further funding to extend secondments (while this matched/additional funding would be preferred it is not essential). These proof-of-concept studies are critical for obtaining pilot data and developing complete EPSRC and other grant applications. The IGT community have been invited to apply for an RA to spend six+ months at a partner IGT institution. This award is for "Developing automated objective skills assessment methods in colonoscopy" and the teams have started the collaborative work.
Collaborator Contribution The Endoscopy Unit, Centre for Liver & Digestive Disorders, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh will host the RA fro 6 months. The primary aim of this project is to develop a platform for the quantification and objective assessment of technical skills in colonoscopy by employing novel sensor modalities (e.g. eye tracking) and advanced image processing (deep learning) to analyse-previously unexplored- operational characteristics, associated with the manipulation of surgical equipment (e.g. endoscopes). Through data processing it is feasible to produce novel quantitative metrics that represent technical, dexterous skills and derive analogous expressions to model, analyse and characterise optimum colonoscopy execution.
Impact On-going project
Start Year 2017
 
Description PoC award - Marcel Van Herk (Manchester), Jamie McClelland (UCL) and James Wild (Sheffield) 
Organisation University of Manchester
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The aim of the call is to support postdoctoral research associates from IGT Network+ partners to spend between one to six months at another partner organisation (university or industry; ideally two partners but in practice larger collaborations will be considered), with the host partner preferably contributing further funding to extend secondments (while this matched/additional funding would be preferred it is not essential). These proof-of-concept studies are critical for obtaining pilot data and developing complete EPSRC and other grant applications. The IGT community have been invited to apply for an RA to spend six+ months at a partner IGT institution. This award is for "Towards functional MR-Linac based imaging for image-guided radiotherapy in lung cancer patients" .
Collaborator Contribution Project still being set-up, project has not started yet.
Impact Project still being set-up
Start Year 2018
 
Description PoC award - Marcel Van Herk (Manchester), Jamie McClelland (UCL) and James Wild (Sheffield) 
Organisation University of Sheffield
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The aim of the call is to support postdoctoral research associates from IGT Network+ partners to spend between one to six months at another partner organisation (university or industry; ideally two partners but in practice larger collaborations will be considered), with the host partner preferably contributing further funding to extend secondments (while this matched/additional funding would be preferred it is not essential). These proof-of-concept studies are critical for obtaining pilot data and developing complete EPSRC and other grant applications. The IGT community have been invited to apply for an RA to spend six+ months at a partner IGT institution. This award is for "Towards functional MR-Linac based imaging for image-guided radiotherapy in lung cancer patients" .
Collaborator Contribution Project still being set-up, project has not started yet.
Impact Project still being set-up
Start Year 2018
 
Description PoC award - Radhakrishna Prabhu (Robert Gordon University) and Andreas Melzer (Dundee University) 
Organisation Robert Gordon University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The aim of the call is to support postdoctoral research associates from IGT Network+ partners to spend between one to six months at another partner organisation (university or industry; ideally two partners but in practice larger collaborations will be considered), with the host partner preferably contributing further funding to extend secondments (while this matched/additional funding would be preferred it is not essential). These proof-of-concept studies are critical for obtaining pilot data and developing complete EPSRC and other grant applications. The IGT community have been invited to apply for an RA to spend six+ months at a partner IGT institution. This award is for "Development of a Multi-functional Fibre Optic Probe for MR-Guided Surgical Procedures" and the teams have started the collaborative work.
Collaborator Contribution On-going project
Impact On-going
Start Year 2017
 
Description PoC award - Radhakrishna Prabhu (Robert Gordon University) and Andreas Melzer (Dundee University) 
Organisation University of Dundee
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The aim of the call is to support postdoctoral research associates from IGT Network+ partners to spend between one to six months at another partner organisation (university or industry; ideally two partners but in practice larger collaborations will be considered), with the host partner preferably contributing further funding to extend secondments (while this matched/additional funding would be preferred it is not essential). These proof-of-concept studies are critical for obtaining pilot data and developing complete EPSRC and other grant applications. The IGT community have been invited to apply for an RA to spend six+ months at a partner IGT institution. This award is for "Development of a Multi-functional Fibre Optic Probe for MR-Guided Surgical Procedures" and the teams have started the collaborative work.
Collaborator Contribution On-going project
Impact On-going
Start Year 2017
 
Description Proof-of-Concept call - June 2016 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Department School of Biological Sciences
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The aim of the call is to encourage studies obtaining pilot data and developing complete EPSRC and other grant applications that provide the long-term support of the IGT Network+. The Image-Guided Therapies community have been invited to apply for an RA to spend six+ months at a partner IGT institution. This award is for "Monitoring of fetal brain oxygenation and tissue perfusion" and the teams have recently started the collaborative work. They are currently looking into opportunities to making the next step from this proof of concept award and apply for joint funding.
Collaborator Contribution Edinburgh team has shipped and installed a prototype Versicolor system at UCL.
Impact None yet
Start Year 2017
 
Description Monthly IGT Newsletters 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Regularly update news and events feed showcasing achievements, conferences and calls for funding applications from across the UK IGT field - List of member profile information including contact details and photos, with the ability to filter by area of expertise, to help members identify potential collaborators - Custom map of the UK showing the network's partner institutions and nationwide representation of the IGT community
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017,2018,2019
 
Description Newsletter 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact - Monthly news and events bulletin summarising key IGT announcements, upcoming conferences and workshops, and partner and member achievements
- Content is sourced from dedicated representatives from partner institutions, ensuring fair representation
- Average open rate is 46% and click rate 12% (compared to industry average engagement of 16%).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
 
Description Tri-annual meetings 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The Network organised 3 meeting per year to help engage with the IGT community nationally.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017,2018,2019
 
Description Website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact - Regularly update news and events feed showcasing achievements, conferences and calls for funding applications from across the UK IGT field
- List of member profile information including contact details and photos, with the ability to filter by area of expertise, to help members identify potential collaborators
- Custom map of the UK showing the network's partner institutions and nationwide representation of the IGT community
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017
URL http://www.image-guided-therapies.ac.uk/