Dr. Buckmire testing the new biorobotic laser control device with a “live fire” experiment.
Robert A. Buckmire, MD, has several ongoing clinical and research projects involving voice and swallowing. The Voice center currently partners with both academic departments and local industry on research projects. In a collaborative effort with the Department of Biomedical Engineering (UNC/NC State), Joe Giallo II, was granted a “Doctor of Philisophy” degree in November 2008 for a project and thesis entitled: “A Medical Robotic System for Laser Phonomicrosurgery.” The resultant novel laser control device is currently in testing in the lab. Further work on the device engineering and software programming serves as a current resident research project in collaboration with the robotics lab at NC State. In collaborative research efforts with the Division of Gastroenterology, prospective, placebo-controlled studies regarding chronic cough, GERD and laryngoscopic signs of laryngo-pharyngeal research are in the final stages of data acquisition and data analysis. Both computer recognition algorithms and novel in vivo imaging techniques are being adapted for the purpose of developing “image guidance” in laryngeal surgery. In work with Bioptogen, a RTP start-up company, optical coherence tomography (OCT) is being utilized to acquire real-time 2D and 3D images to aid in tumor border detection and to assess subepithelial anatomic detail. Projects determining the role for quantitative laryngeal electromyography (LEMG) are being conducted as a joint effort between the Department of Neurology and the Department of Otolaryngology. Dr. Robert Buckmire and Dr. James Howard, who staff the LEMG clinic, are conducting an evaluation of quantitative versus qualitative interpretations of the LEMGs in a blinded fashion. In the last year, residents have presented divisional research posters and oral presentations at both national and international meetings.