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Body-Mounted MRI-Compatible Robot for Percutaneous Needle Procedures

Image banner for MRI Compatible Robot project

Key Personnel

  • Kevin Cleary, PhD 
  • Karun Sharma, MD, PhD 
  • Reza Monfaredi, PhD 
  • Bamshad Azizi, MS 
  • Emmanuel Wilson, MS

The goal of this research program in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-compatible robotics is to offer radiation-free, minimally invasive procedures to our pediatric patients. Minimally invasive procedures such as biopsy, drainage, or ablation are typically done under X-ray imaging to enable the interventional radiologist to target the anatomy of interest. In keeping with our general goal of minimizing dose whenever possible, if we could move these procedures to the MRI environment we could eliminate the radiation dose.

However, patient access in a standard closed bore MRI scanner can be difficult and the MRI environment presents several challenges. Therefore, we have been developing a body-mounted needle-positioning robot that is MRI compatible with the goal of enabling MRI-guided interventions. The first clinical application we have focused on is shoulder arthrography.

A four-degree of freedom patient-mounted robot was developed to enable procedures in the MRI environment. Preliminary results in the MRI environment show the distortion profile introduced by the robot is minimal.