Minimally invasive beating heart intracardiac surgery is an area of research with many unique challenges. Surgical targets are in constant motion in a blood-filled environment that prevents direct line-of-sight guidance. The restrictive workspace requires compact, yet robust tools for proper therapy delivery. Our novel method for approaching multiple targets inside the beating heart allows their identification and access under augmented reality-assisted image guidance. The surgical platform integrates real-time ultrasound imaging with virtual models of the surgical instruments, along with virtual cardiac anatomy acquired from pre-operative images. Extensive
studies were performed to assess the operator’s ability to “deliver therapy” to dynamic intracardiac targets via both transmural and transluminal access, and demonstrated significantly more accurate targeting under augmented reality guidance compared to ultrasound image guidance alone, accompanied by a reduction of procedure time by half. Moreover, preliminary
acute studies on porcine models showed successful prosthesis positioning for beating-heart septal defect repair and mitral valve implantation via direct surgical access. While still in its infancy, this work emphasizes the promise of ultrasound-enhanced model-guided environments for minimally-invasive cardiac therapy, whether delivered via a catheter introduced into the vascular system or a cannula inserted through the heart wall.