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The Erasmus Plus programme ‘Innovative Education and Training in high power laser plasmas’, otherwise known as PowerLaPs, is described. The PowerLaPs programme employs an innovative paradigm in that it is a multi-centre programme where teaching takes place in five separate institutes with a range of different aims and styles of delivery. The ‘in class’ time is limited to four weeks a year, and the programme spans two years. PowerLaPs aims to train students from across Europe in theoretical, applied and laboratory skills relevant to the pursuit of research in laser–plasma interaction physics and inertial confinement fusion (ICF). Lectures are intermingled with laboratory sessions and continuous assessment activities. The programme, which is led by workers from the Technological Educational Institute (TEI) of Crete, and supported by co-workers from the Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Bordeaux, the Czech Technical University in Prague, Ecole Polytechnique, the University of Ioannina, the University of Salamanca and the University of York, has just completed its first year. Thus far three Learning Teaching Training (LTT) activities have been held, at the Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Bordeaux and the Centre for Plasma Physics and Lasers (CPPL) of TEI Crete. The last of these was a two-week long Intensive Programme (IP), while the activities at the other two universities were each five days in length. Thus far work has concentrated upon training in both theoretical and experimental work in plasma physics, high power laser–matter interactions and high energy density physics. The nature of the programme will be described in detail and some metrics relating to the activities carried out to date will be presented.
Optimal imaging is essential for catheter-based interventions in CHD. The three-dimensional models in volume-rendering technique currently in use are not standardised. This paper investigates the feasibility and impact of novel three-dimensional guidance with segmented and tessellated three-dimensional heart models in catheterisation of CHD. In addition, a nearly radiation-free two- to three-dimensional registration and a biplane overlay were used.
Methods and results
We analysed 60 consecutive cases in which segmented tessellated three-dimensional heart models were merged with live fluoroscopy images and aligned using the tracheal bifurcation as a fiducial mark. The models were generated from previous MRI or CT by dedicated medical software. We chose the stereo-lithography format, as this promises advantage over volume-rendering-technique models regarding visualisation. Prospects, potential benefits, and accuracy of the two- to three-dimensional registration were rated separately by two paediatric interventionalists on a five-point Likert scale. Fluoroscopy time, radiation dose, and contrast dye consumption were evaluated. Over a 10-month study period, two- to three-dimensional image fusion was applied to 60 out of 354 cases. Of the 60 catheterisations, 73.3% were performed in the context of interventions. The accuracy of two- to three-dimensional registration was sufficient in all cases. Three-dimensional guidance was rated superior to conventional biplane imaging in all 60 cases. We registered significantly smaller amounts of used contrast dye (p<0.01), lower levels of radiation dose (p<0.02), and less fluoroscopy time (p<0.01) during interventions concerning the aortic arch compared with a control group.
Two- to three-dimensional image fusion can be applied successfully in most catheter-based interventions of CHD. Meshes in stereo-lithography format are accurate and base for standardised and reproducible three-dimensional models.
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