Wayne State | Department of Surgery (313) 745-8778



The Department is currently involved in the following initiatives, jointly with Medical Engineering Partners LLC and the Smart Sensors and Integrated Microsystems (SSIM) Lab at the Wayne State University College of Engineering:

4-D Ultrasound: Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer related death in the United States. A little over 28,000 newly diagnosed cases per year are reported with an annual mortality rate of approximately 28,000. Pancreatic cancer is commonly diagnosed late in its natural history and as a result, the 5-year survival rate is less than 4%. Most (about 80% of newly diagnosed cases) pancreatic cancer patient presents with advanced disease, which is inoperable and unfortunately chemotherapy and radiation therapy are usually ineffective for patients with inoperable disease.

Hence, early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is key to survival. Available diagnostic imaging techniques are not suited for the early diagnosis of the disease. We hypothesize that the development of a minimally invasive biomolecular sensor would be an important breakthrough for the early detection of pancreatic cancer in order to make an impact for the survival of patients with this deadly disease. This is also joint with Karmanos Cancer Institute. A prototype of this device has been completed.

Finger-mounted Ultrasound Imaging Probe: Ultrasound is commonly used to identify and localize a blood vessel for IV line placement, but such use currently requires intensive clinician training. MEP proposes to develop a finger-mounted ultrasound imaging probe that will:

  • Display 3D stereo images in real time,
  • Function across harsh operating environments typical of combat
  • Be easy to use, and
  • Meet sterility requirements.

Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery Image Guidance: Auto tracking of surgical end effectors and anticipate zoom in and zoom out requirements. This is largely a software solution.

Augmented Reality and Sensor Fusion: Software solution to present an augmented view of data and visual scenes to aid in surgical assessment, port placement, and tissue differentiation.