Virtually Transparent Epidermal Imagery (VTEI): On New Approaches to In Vivo Wireless High-Definition Video and Image Processing

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wireless communications, Analog systems, biomedical devices, high-definition video, image processing

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This work first overviews a novel design, and prototype implementation, of a virtually transparent epidermal imagery (VTEI) system for laparo-endoscopic single-site (LESS) surgery. The system uses a network of multiple, micro-cameras and multiview mosaicking to obtain a panoramic view of the surgery area. The prototype VTEI system also projects the generated panoramic view on the abdomen area to create a transparent display effect that mimics equivalent, but higher risk, open-cavity surgeries. The specific research focus of this paper is on two important aspects of a VTEI system: 1) in vivo wireless high-definition (HD) video transmission and 2) multi-image processing-both of which play key roles in next-generation systems. For transmission and reception, this paper proposes a theoretical wireless communication scheme for high-definition video in situations that require extremely small-footprint image sensors and in zero-latency applications. In such situations the typical optimized metrics in communication schemes, such as power and data rate, are far less important than latency and hardware footprint that absolutely preclude their use if not satisfied. This work proposes the use of a novel Frequency-Modulated Voltage-Division Multiplexing (FM-VDM) scheme where sensor data is kept analog and transmitted via “voltage-multiplexed” signals that are also frequency-modulated. Once images are received, a novel Homographic Image Mosaicking and Morphing (HIMM) algorithm is proposed to stitch images from respective cameras, that also compensates for irregular surfaces in real-time, into a single cohesive view of the surgical area. In VTEI, this view is then visible to the surgeon directly on the patient to give an “open cavity” feel to laparoscopic procedures.

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IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems, v. 7, issue 6, p. 851-860.