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Wednesday, April 21, 2010 9:30 a.m., ECSS 3.503 (Osborne Conference Room)








 me lecture

“Group Theoretic Methods in Medical Robotics, Structural Biology and Kinesiology”
Dr. Wooram Park, Johns Hopkins University

Three topics will be discussed using a similar mathematical approach: flexible medical needle steering, single-particle electron microscopy and human motion generation. Group theoretic methods for these topics are presented.

A new flexible needle that can be used for minimally invasive surgery and diagnosis is made with a bevel tip so it forms a bending curve as it is inserted into soft tissue. This enables us to steer the needle by twisting and inserting. A stochastic modeling technique is applied to a nonholonomic model for the flexible needle, enabling path planning and control of the needle.

Knowing the structure of biological macromolecules is the first step toward understanding their functions. In electron microscopy various methods to find 3D structural information of biological macromolecules have been developed and improved. 3D reconstruction methods reconstruct the 3D structure of biological macromolecules using multiple 2D projections generated by electron microscopes. In this talk 2D image processing techniques using Hermite-based modeling are introduced. These techniques form a crucial and basic step for 3D reconstruction.

As interdisciplinary research, traditional robotic approaches are widely applied to a areas such as kinesiology, rehabilitation, computer animation and product design. Kinematics and dynamics for human bodies is the core topic for these upper-level applications. By solving kinematics/dynamics problems, human motions are generated based on criteria such as minimum torque energy and minimum metabolic energy.

Wooram Park holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Seoul National University. He received his doctorate in mechanical engineering from Johns Hopkins in 2008, and he is now a postdoctoral fellow in mechanical engineering there. His research interests include medical robots, computational structural biology and human kinetics.