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DEEP FIELD: Seeing the Unseen in Image-guided Surgery

Project description

Magnetic sensors for image-guided surgery

Image-guided surgery offers numerous advantages, including the ability of surgeons to navigate their instruments with precision and speed. However, it requires the use of harmful X rays or CT. The EU-funded DEEP FIELD project proposes to replace this type of radiation with magnetic tracking of surgical instruments. Researchers will develop innovative sensors that overcome the distortion issues associated with the use of the magnetic field in surgery. The DEEP FIELD technology is expected to change clinical surgery with applications in cardiovascular navigation, endoscopy and robotic surgery, leading to significantly improved patient outcomes.


The future of surgery will be image-guided. But how will the surgeon navigate instruments beyond the camera's field of view without using harmful x-rays? The potential of magnetic tracking to navigate surgical instruments without x-rays has long been appreciated but current technology lacks sufficient accuracy, speed, robustness and immunity to magnetic field distortion to change the clinical paradigm.

DEEP FIELD will break thorough the scientific frontier in surgical navigation to make magnetic tracking the new gold standard in surgical instrument navigation. The results of DEEP FIELD will significantly reduce or eliminate the use of real-time radiation sources such as x-ray and CT in many procedures while also enabling more accurate surgery, advanced image fusion and significantly improved patient outcomes. For this vision to become reality, DEEP FIELD will create ground-breaking magnetic field transmitter designs} with new magnetic field shaping and distortion rejection techniques (WP1) to provide faster (2.5X) and more accurate (8X) tracking than the current state of the art (NDI Aurora Tabletop transmitter). The project will develop new and ambitiously complex magnetic sensors, including the first on-chip sensor suitable for system-in-package (SiP) fusion with other sensor types. DEEP FIELD will also eliminate the wired connection to magnetic sensors which fail regularly in current clinical use (WP2). DEEP FIELD will demonstrate entirely novel algorithms for surgical instrument tracking using sensor fusion and machine learning approaches (WP3) to compensate for magnetic field distortion, a major shortcoming of current technology. An ambitious plan to integrate and test all three WPs in realistic pre-clinical settings (WP4) is included where DEEP FIELD designs will provide the scientific foundation for the future of intra-operative instrument tracking in cardiovascular navigation, endoscopy and robotic surgery without reliance on harmful radiation.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 2 000 000,00
T12 YN60 Cork

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Ireland Southern South-East
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 2 000 000,00

Beneficiaries (1)