The focus of Dr. Miga's laboratory is on the development of new paradigms in detection, diagnosis, characterization, and treatment of disease through the integration of computational models into research and clinical practice.
Vanderbilt researchers have developed an image guidance system that aims to reduce the revision rate for breast conserving surgeries through the use of intraoperative tumor location. The platform integrates MRI imaging, optical tracking, tracked ultrasound, and patient specific biomechanical models to provide a superior tumor localization end result.
A new phantom has been designed in which Doppler ultrasound measurements can be conducted for quality assurance purposes. The phantom is highly portable, does not require power to operate, and allows for simple and reproducible measurements of Doppler ultrasound function. This combination of advantages allows for realistic monthly, weekly, even daily Doppler QA measurements.
Vanderbilt University researchers have developed a technology that uses spatially offset Raman spectroscopy to obtain depth-resolved information from the margins of tumors. This helps to determine positive or negative tumor margins in applications such as breast lumpectomy, and the technology is currently being investigated for breast cancer margin detection.
A research team lead by Professor Sandra Rosenthal at Vanderbilt University has developed nanocrystals (~2 nm diameter) that emit white light with very high quantum efficiency. This technology would be a viable cost effective candidate for commercial solid-state lighting applications, such as Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). These nanocrystals were originally discovered by the same group in 2005; a recent breakthrough in post-treatment results in improving fluorescent quantum yield up to ~ 45%.
This technology uses combinations of materials with different electronic properties of micro-or nanometerscale grain size to create a memristive device (twoterminal, variable resistance circuit element). Amidst growing interest in memristors, this technology is one of the first to use composite materials, which make the memristive qualities of the material tunable.
Inventors at Vanderbilt University have developed a novel chemical design and synthesis process for azulene-based COX2 contrast agents which can be used for molecular imaging, via a variety of imaging techniques. These COX2 probes can be utilized for numerous applications, including imaging cancers and inflammation caused by arthritis and cardiovascular diseases. The process for developing these COX2 contrast agents has been significantly improved through a convergent synthesis process which reduces the required steps to establish the COX2 precursors.
This new tracheostomy tube design prevents the need for decannulation when changing from a cuffed to cuffless (or vice versa) tracheostomy. It also enables a comfortable and fit in patients with both large and small neck diameters. The tube enhances patient safety by maintaining the airway at all times when downsizing or upsizing.
Vanderbilt engineers have developed a robotic system for performing sinus and neurosurgery through the nose. This provides a less invasive way to access surgical sites in the sinuses and near the middle of the patient's head, leading to faster recovery times. The robot is modular and sterilizable with detachable cartridge-based instruments. Each instrument is a concentric tube robot, which is a needle-sized tool that can bend and elongate. The system delivers four of these instruments through a single nostril.
Vanderbilt researchers have developed a novel system for allowing surgical instruments to navigate around tighter corners and access difficult-to-reach areas in the body. This system uses pre-curved elastic elements added on to the existing instrument. Current surgical instruments are manufactured in a straight-line configuration, which means they must bend in order to reach around obstructions in surgery. By adding pre-curved sections, some of the bending is already accomplished, allowing the instrument to bend around tighter corners.