CDS Lecture Series


Jaydev P. Desai
Director - Robotics, Automation, and Medical Systems (RAMS) Laboratory
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Maryland at College Park

Challenges in Robotic MRI-guided Interventions: From Macro-scale to Meso-scale

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides excellent soft tissue contrast and has become a standard tool of physicians in several image-guided interventions. However, the nature of MR imaging imposes several constraints on the choice of actuators and sensors that can be used in robotic MRI-guided interventions. To understand some of the challenges, both at the macro-scale as well as the meso-scale, the talk will focus on two current projects in our laboratory. The first project is in the area of breast biopsy (Bx) and radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of breast tumors under continuous MRI, while the second project is in the area of minimally invasive neurosurgical interventions under MRI guidance.
The motivation for our research in the Bx/RFA project comes from the fact that The American Cancer Society estimates one in eight women born today is likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime. Although these statistics are discouraging, recent, large-scale studies reported in The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine demonstrate the value of MRI as an effective tool in the diagnosis of breast cancer. Similarly for breast cancer treatment, RFA has emerged as a promising approach for early stage breast cancer treatment. Hence, the first part of the talk will discuss our current work in the development of a macro-scale robotic system for Bx/RFA of breast tumors under continuous MRI.
In the second part of the talk, we will discuss our progress in the development of meso-scale robotic system operated under MRI guidance for neurosurgical interventions. Currently, the optimal treatment for most brain tumors involves primary surgical resection. Unfortunately, many patients cannot undergo primary surgical resection of their brain tumor due to either poor general health or an unfavorable location of the lesion, usually deep or otherwise inaccessible to conventional neurosurgical techniques. As a result, our current efforts have targeted toward the development of a MRI compatible meso-scale "minimally invasive" neurosurgical intracranial robot (MINIR) that can be used to electrocauterize a deep brain tumor.

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