Iris De Falco
In 2011, she joined the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, focusing her activity on biomechatronic systems and soft robots for minimally invasive surgery and endoscopy. In 2015, she spent time as a visiting researcher at TU Delft (The Netherlands) in the Minimally Invasive Surgery and Interventional Techniques (MISIT) research group working on a variable stiffness needle for percutaneous interventions.
Her research contributions were prized with national and international awards.
January 2016: PhD in Innovative Technologies (Curriculum: BioRobotics), The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna.
Thesis: Innovative actuation and sensing mechanisms for minimally invasive robotic surgery. Supervisors: A. Menciassi, P. Dario
February 2012: Master's Degree in Biomedical Enginering (cum laude), University of Pisa. Thesis: Study and development of a vision system for endoscopic capsules moving in liquid environment. Supervisors: A. Menciassi, P. Dario, G. Tortora.
December 2009: Bachelor's Degree in Biomedical Engineering (110/110 marks), University of Pisa. Thesis: Finite elements models for the detection of tumoral lesions with elastosonography. Supervisors: P. Forte, F. Di Puccio, S. Celi.
2011 - 2016: Biomedical Engineer, The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (Pisa, Italy).
Topic: Design, development and testing of innovative tools for surgery and endoscopy.
May 2015 - October 2015: Visiting research fellow, TU Delft, MISIT Lab (Delft, The Netherlands). Ref: J. J. van den Dobbelsteen, J. Dankelman
Topic: Design of a surgical needle actuated by cables and with a variable stiffness mechanism.
April 2012 – November 2012: Research collaboration, National Research Council (CNR) Institute of Clinical Physiology (IFC), Fondazione Toscana Gabriele Monasterio (Massa, Italy). Topic: Finite element analysis for the detection of tumoral lesions and the study of aneurysms.
- Stiff-Flop: stiffness controllable flexible and learn-able manipulator for surgical operations
- Araknes: array of robots augmenting the kinematics of endoluminal surgery
- Vector: versatile endoscopic capsule for gastrointestinal tumor recognition and therapy
1. Winner of Best contribution to technology transfer, Third conference of GNB, Rome (Italy), June 2012, with the work Vision system for a propeller-based video capsule swimming in liquid by I. De Falco, G. Tortora, P. Dario, A. Menciassi
2. Winner of Best master degree thesis, Italian National Bioengineering Group, Bressanone (Italy), September 2012, with the work Studio e sviluppo di un sistema di vision per capsule endoscopiche mobili in ambiente liquido by I. De Falco
3. Finalist of IROS2013, Best application paper, Tokyo (Japan), November 2013, with the work STIFF-FLOP Surgical Manipulator: mechanical design and experimental characterization of the single module by M. Cianchetti, T. Ranzani, G. Gerboni, I. De Falco, C. Laschi, A. Menciassi
4. Runner up of 2015 Prize for Contributions in Soft Robotics Research, Biodesign Lab, Harvard University, Cambridge (MA), August 2015, with the work Multi-Module Variable Stiffness Manipulator by I. De Falco
5. Winner of Best PhD thesis, Italian National Bioengineering Group, Bressanone (Italy), September 2016, with the work A soft variable stiffness manipulator for minimally invasive surgery by I. De Falco
6. Winner of PhD ITalents 2016, Italy
1. I. De Falco, G. Tortora, P. Dario, A. Menciassi, Vision system for a propeller-based video capsule swimming in liquid, Terza conferenza del gruppo nazionale di bioingegneria (GNB), Roma, 2012.
2. M. Cianchetti, T. Ranzani, G. Gerboni, I. De Falco, C. Laschi, A. Menciassi, STIFF-FLOP Surgical Manipulator: mechanical design and experimental characterization of the single module, Proceedings of IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), Tokyo, 2013.
3. T. Ranzani, M. Cianchetti, G. Gerboni, I. De Falco, G. Petroni, A. Menciassi, A modular soft manipulator with variable stiffness, WorkShop on Computer/Robot Assisted Surgery (CRAS), Verona, 2013.
4. I. De Falco, M. Cianchetti, A. Menciassi, A soft and controllable stiffness manipulator for minimally invasive surgery: preliminary characterization of the modular design, Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC), 36th Annual International Conference of the IEEE, Chicago, 2014.
5. I. De Falco, M. Cianchetti, A. Menciassi, STIFF-FLOP surgical manipulator: design and preliminary evaluation of the multi-module design, WorkShop on Computer/Robot Assisted Surgery (CRAS), Genova, 2014.
6. I. De Falco, J. J. van den Dobbelsteen, Variable stiffness mechanism for needles: preliminary study, Design of Medical Devices Conference (DMD), Vienna, 2015.
7. C. CulmoneI, I. De FalcoI, A. Menciassi, J. Dankelman, J. J. van den Dobbelsteen, A variable stiffness mechanism for minimally invasive surgical needles, The Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics (HSMR), London, 2017.
1. I. De Falco, G. Tortora, P. Dario, A. Menciassi, An Integrated System for Wireless Capsule Endoscopy in a Liquid-distended Stomach, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering (TBME), 2013.
2. G. Tortora, T. Ranzani, I. De Falco, P. Dario, A. Menciassi, A miniature robot for retraction tasks under vision assistance in minimally invasive surgery, Robotics, 2014.
3. I. De Falco, G. Gerboni, M. Cianchetti, A. Menciassi, Design and fabrication of an elastomeric unit for soft modular robots in minimally invasive surgery, Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE), 2015.
4. T. Ranzani, M. Cianchetti, G. Gerboni, I. De Falco, A. Menciassi, A soft modular manipulator for minimally invasive surgery: design and characterization of a single module, IEEE Transactions on Robotics (T-RO), 2015.
5. A. Shiva, A. Stilli, Y. Noh, A. Faragasso, I. De Falco, G. Gerboni, M. Cianchetti, A. Menciassi, K. Althoefer, H.A. Wurdemann, Tendon-based stiffening for a pneumatically actuated soft manipulator, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), 2016.
6. I. De Falco, M. Cianchetti, A. Menciassi, A soft multi-module manipulator with variable stiffness for minimally invasive surgery, Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, 2017.
7. I. De Falco, C. Culmone, A. Menciassi, J. Dankelman, J.J. van den Dobbelsteen, A variable stiffness mechanism for steerable percutaneous instruments: integration in a needle, Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing (MBEC), 2018.