University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota: Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


Smart-Light Project


The Smart-Light Project is focused on developing a fiber optic sensing system for surgical procedures that can distinguish tissue types in real time. Our hypothesis is that our system can identify tissue in less than 25-ms via a custom optical fiber sensor coupled with machine learning techniques. The development of this sensor would enable surgical "Smart-Tools" to alert the surgeon to potential errors during the procedure before they occur. The Smart-Light sensor would also provide a method to monitor the progress of procedures when surgical visualization is deficient. With some degree of adverse event occurring in nearly 15% of surgical procedures*, the Smart-Light sensor could provide significant clinical impact. Beyond sending valuable, error-reducing feedback to the surgeon, this research could also facilitate the development of closed-loop robotic surgical procedures and precise control of surgical therapy delivery.The current researcher for this project is Darrin Beekman.