With increasing clinical uptake of minimally invasive surgery and surgical robotics, the provision of technologies that provide intra-operative guidance and in vivo morphological and functional characterisation beyond the exposed tissue surface has become an important research topic.

Such technologies can further expand the functional capabilities of surgical robotics in providing improved navigation, tissue detection, labelling, and targeting both at macro and cellular levels. In addition, further development of such sensing technologies may pave the way towards higher levels of surgical automation.

A range of intra-operative sensing and imaging techniques have been investigated for this purpose including force sensing, endoscopic vision, ultrasound and electric bio-impedance. Optical imaging and spectroscopy also provide opportunities in this area, both in surgical environments and in other clinical scenarios (e.g. diagnostics, screening, etc.). Both point based spectroscopic approaches (e.g. diffuse reflectance, Raman, fluorescence spectroscopy) and imaging techniques (e.g. optical coherence tomography (OCT), confocal laser endomicroscopy, hyperspectral imaging, photoacoustic imaging, etc.) have been reported, demonstrating promising results for both surgical guidance and diagnostics.

This workshop will bring together clinicians and researchers to exchange ideas on the current state-of-the-art and future trends in sensing and biophotonics for surgical robotics and other clinical applications. While a variety of technologies and clinical applications will be discussed, the workshop will maintain a focus on devices that can be seamlessly integrated with the surgical environment and that can be compatible with robot-assisted interventions. A key aim of the workshop will be to spark discussion and collaboration around the use of sensing technologies for surgical autonomy. As such, a panel discussion will be included on this topic and a social gathering will be organised after the workshop. The workshop will include several invited talks, and we will also welcome submissions from Symposium attendees for both oral and poster presentations.

Date: Sunday 26th June 2022

Time: 08:00 – 16:00

Call for abstracts

We invite abstract submissions for contributions to the workshop on the wider field of sensing and biophotonics for medical applications. Abstracts will be considered for oral or poster presentations on the basis of their technical content. All poster presenters will be automatically entered into a poster competition, for which prizes will be announced during the workshop.

Submission guidelines:

Your abstract should be no more than 200 words and should be submitted via email to alex.thompson08@imperial.ac.uk by Monday 16th May 2022. Successful submissions will be accepted for an oral or poster presentation

  • Oral Presentations: up to 12 minutes followed by 3 minutes Q&A
  • We recommend presentation slides be set to 16:9 format
  • Poster dimensions: A0 portrait
  • Poster printing: there are no printing facilities at the venue so please print your poster before you arrive
  • A subset of poster presenters will also be asked to give 2 minute oral teaser presentations

Key dates:

  • Deadline for abstract submissions: Monday 16th May 2022
  • Confirmation of acceptance/rejection: Friday 20th May 2022

Topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Intra-operative sensing and imaging techniques (e.g. force sensing, endoscopic vision, ultrasound, electric bio-impedance, etc.)
  • Optical imaging modalities (e.g. optical coherence tomography, confocal laser endomicroscopy, hyperspectral imaging, photoacoustic imaging, etc.)
  • Optical spectroscopic sensing (e.g. diffuse reflectance, Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy)
  • Sensing for surgical automation

Confirmed workshop speakers include:

  1. Dr Michael Hughes (University of Kent, UK)
  2. Dr Dominic Jones (University of Leeds, UK)
  3. Dr Zhuoqi Cheng (University of Southern Denmark, Denmark)
  4. Dr Matina Giannarou (Imperial College London, UK)

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understanding of the requirements for sensing in robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery (including from a clinical perspective), especially with regards to supporting automatic and autonomous systems in the future;
  • Knowledge of existing and emerging sensing technologies used in surgical robotics;
  • Knowledge and understanding of optical imaging techniques such as fluorescence imaging, hyper/multi-spectral imaging, endomicroscopy and OCT;
  • Knowledge and understanding of point-based spectroscopic sensing techniques such as fluorescence spectroscopy, diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, elastic scattering spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy;
  • Understanding of the challenges in implementing advanced sensing and biophotonics modalities into surgical robotics and in translating these technologies to the clinic;
  • Understanding of the limitations of current clinical tools used for diagnostics, margin assessment, surgical guidance, etc.


This workshop is worth 6 CPD points, please register to qualify for certification.