Our research work focuses on two areas, both are related to the central nervous system: traumatic brain injury and surgical image-guidance in the brain and spine. For the former, we develop an advanced computational model of the human head to predict injury, especially concussion or mild traumatic brain injury in contact sports. Our Worcester Head Injury Model (WHIM) integrates information from advanced neuroimaging and a pre-computation strategy to generate detailed, real-time, strain maps of the brain, particularly, in the deep white matter regions. The rich information provides insight into how best to predict injury and what anatomical regions and white matter neural tracts are more susceptible to injury.
Funding for this work is provided by the NSF (CMMI award #2114697), NIH (R01 NS092853, R21 NS088781), Ford URP (University Research Program), and GPU donation from NVIDIA. Past funding included support from NIH (R21 NS078607), NOCSAE, Hitchcock Foundation, and Neukom Institute, and donation from Intel Inc. We collaborate with colleagues at Ford Motor Company, Dartmouth College, Indiana University, Simbex LLC., Stanford, Virginia Tech, and University of Massachusetts Medical School.
For surgical image-guidance, we translate patient registration techniques previously developed for open skull neurosurgery into applications in open spinal surgery. By registering radiation-free, low-cost intra-operative images such as sterevision and ultrasound with high-quality, pre-operative images such as CT and MRI, image-guidance and navigation can be achieved during surgery. Special registration pipelines are designed to meet the challenges in spine image registration due to intervertebral mobility. Funding for this work is provided by the NIH (R01 EB025747). Past funding support included Dartmouth SYNERGY Scholars Award (NIH K-award) and NIH (R21 NS078607). This work is conducted in collaboration with Dartmouth College, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and Medtronics, Inc.