Valdastri receives best paper award at international computer aided surgery conference in Italy

Pietro Valdastri

Pietro Valdastri, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and member of the Vanderbilt Initiative in Surgery and Engineering (ViSE), was awarded with the OLYMPUS ISCAS Best Paper Award at the 16th Annual Conference of the International Society for Computer Aided Surgery (ISCAS) June 30 in Pisa, Italy.

The paper – “Remote active magnetic actuation for a single-access surgical robotic manipulator” – by Christian Di Natali, a mechanical engineering graduate student, and Pietro Valdastri, was presented by Valdastri at the conference.

This research, conducted in the mechanical engineering department’s Science and Technology of Robotics in Medicine lab (STORM), proposes a novel strategy to operate surgical instruments without the need for dedicated incisions. “This approach, if successful, will enable abdominal surgery to be performed robotically through a single 12 mm access, thus improving by far the outcomes of current surgical procedures and paving the way for the next generation of surgical robots,” Valdastri said.

Valdastri came to Vanderbilt in 2011 from the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa, where he earned his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and went on to become an assistant professor of industrial bioengineering. He earned his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Pisa.

The ISCAS conference, June 27-30, was held with the 26th International Congress of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery (CARS). The Congress was a part of Bioengineering Week, which began in Rome June 24 and moved to Pisa.

In addition, three other prestigious scientific communities jointly held their annual meetings for the first time with the CARS Congress in Pisa. They were the 30th International EuroPACS meeting, the 14th International Workshop on Computer-Aided Diagnosis, and the 18th Computed Maxillofacial Imaging Conference.