Innovation

Discover our work packages, open-source software and key publications.

Development

Work Package 1

Surgical planning and visualisation

This work package is developing new imaging technology using MRI and microCT to measure placenta function and to help to guide planned interventions, such as for twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, congenital diaphragmatic hernia and myelomeningocele.

Work Package 2

Intraoperative sensing

This work package has developed technology to show that superficial and subsurface branching blood vessels could be visualised to depths of approximately 7 mm, and that ablated tissue yielded negative image contrast.  

Work Package 3

Surgical instrumentation

The goal of this work package is to develop steerable instruments that offer the surgeon better and more intuitive access to the uterine cavity.

Work Package 4

Intraoperative data fusion

This work package focuses on providing enhanced real-time feedback during fetal therapy by extending the capabilities of fetoscopic imaging and combining direct vision with preoperatively acquired information on maternal and other relevant structures.

Application and validation

Work Package 5

Clinical validation

In this work package, we assess our technical achievements in a preclinical and eventually clinical environment. We are testing a novel single port fetoscope for repair of fetal spina bifida. We are also developing new instruments to stabilise and compensate for motion in the fetoscope so as to reduce the risk of rupture of the membranes and preterm birth.

Work Package 6

Regenerative medicine

This work package investigates the feasibility and efficacy of using breakthrough improvements in regenerative medicine for the management of two types of fetal abnormality: congenital hematopoietic fetal disease and in utero treatment of myelomeningocele (MMC). 

Assessment

Work Package 7

Efficacy and acceptability of fetal surgery

The team behind this work package has created an ethical framework for fetal surgery in the UK and will evaluate the acceptability of this technology to affected women, as well as develop condition-specific outcome measures for future research. They will further explore the context of fetal surgery, including policies in place for adverse events and the perceived support available to families considering fetal surgery.     

Work Package 8

Clinical training and assessment

This work package aims to use quantitative and objective measures for evaluating instrument manipulation, managing intraoperative imaging modalities and interacting with the target anatomy to build an effective training programme. The majority of such motion metrics are based on motion analysis; by establishing assessment metrics we will monitor the learning curves of trainees and be able to guide the development and ergonomics of our platform. 

Open-source software

Our project requires the development of software components to perform some specific tasks. However, they can be reused for other purposes, making the sharing of the source code valuable. These components are used to solve problems in areas such as concurrent programming, data acquisition and image processing.

Key publications

Browse through our key publications, divided by work package.