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Foundation for Health Advancement Awards Innovation Grant to Stevens Researcher to Develop Minimally Invasive Tissue Palpation Device


Foundation for Health Advancement (FHA) is excited to award an Innovation Grant to Jinho Kim, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology. Dr. Kim is addressing one of the most widely recognized disadvantages associated with robot-assisted surgical procedures: the surgeons’ loss of touch- and force-related sensations during these procedures. His “Minimally Invasive Tissue Palpation Device” project will use the Innovation Grant funding to further develop an imaging-guided robotic palpation device and to test the utility and functionality of the device.


This work will significantly help to advance the field of robotic-assisted surgeries and endoscopic procedures by combining pressure-based stiffness measurements with a steerable robotic catheter. Changes in the mechanical properties of pathologic tissues enable surgeons to identify abnormal tissues that were not detected via preoperational imaging such as a CT scan. As an example, healthy and normal tissues, such as lung, liver, and brain tissues, are soft, while pathologic tissues, such as solid tumors, are harder due to increased tissue density. Dr. Kim’s project has the potential to create a machine vision-guided robotic palpation device that can be integrated into existing robotic surgical systems for accurate, rapid, and minimally invasive intraoperative quantifications of tissue stiffness.


Dr. Kim is an innovative researcher at Stevens and has extensive experience in creating novel biomedical devices and methodologies for analyzing and treating diseased tissues. Specifically, his research focuses on development of image-guided drug delivery devices, regeneration of structure and function of damaged tissues, and creation of microfluidic-based biosensors and drug screening devices. Through his work, he is an inventor on multiple patents and patent applications. “With recent synergistic advances in robotics, imaging, and medicine, clinicians can now routinely perform minimally invasive surgical procedures. Patient outcomes have been dramatically improved since the utilization of robotic-assisted minimally invasive interventions due to less invasiveness and high precision of the procedures involved. By collaborating with FHA, my research team will develop a new technology that can allow clinicians to accurately locate diseased tissues during the robot-assisted interventions. My team is very excited about this collaboration because this technology can help patients recover rapidly and return to their normal lives with reduced cost and side effects,” Dr. Kim noted.


About Foundation for Health Advancement

The Foundation for Health Advancement (FHA) is a Princeton, New Jersey based not-for-profit corporation that supports health-related research and education programs in New Jersey. FHA’s Innovation Grant Program was created to support early-stage technologies with strong market potential, for which additional proof-of-concept work, data collection, and/or prototyping could yield important information to make the technology more commercially attractive. These grants are available to researchers at FHA’s partner institutions which include Hackensack Meridian Health, Kessler Foundation, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Princeton University, Rowan University, Rutgers University, and Stevens Institute of Technology. FHA’s affiliate companies, New Jersey Health Foundation (NJHF) and Foundation Venture Capital Group (FVCG), also provide additional funding mechanisms to support New Jersey innovation.

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