Medical

3D-printed plastic bot can take biopsies inside an MRI scanner

3D-printed plastic bot can tak...
The plastic, 3D-printed robot can accurately take tissue biopsies from within an MRI scanner
The plastic, 3D-printed robot can accurately take tissue biopsies from within an MRI scanner
View 4 Images
The device uses air-pressure instead of electricity to move
1/4
The device uses air-pressure instead of electricity to move
The fourth iteration of the robot is now small enough to fit inside a narrow MRI tube
2/4
The fourth iteration of the robot is now small enough to fit inside a narrow MRI tube
It promises sub-millimeter precision for hard to reach tissue biopsies
3/4
It promises sub-millimeter precision for hard to reach tissue biopsies
The plastic, 3D-printed robot can accurately take tissue biopsies from within an MRI scanner
4/4
The plastic, 3D-printed robot can accurately take tissue biopsies from within an MRI scanner

Engineers at the University of Twente have developed a new biopsy robot made from 3D-printed plastic. This allows it to operate inside a MRI scanner so accurate biopsies can be taken with real-time visualization of the abnormal tissue. It's hoped the device will offer doctors a new way to accurately biopsy and diagnose breast cancer in its early stages.

The Stormram 4 has been designed to be free of all the conductive metals that robots usually consist of, making it functional under the strong magnetic field within an MRI scanner. The device is small, 3D printed from plastic, and is driven by air-pressure instead of electricity.

The fourth iteration of the robot is now small enough to fit inside a narrow MRI tube
The fourth iteration of the robot is now small enough to fit inside a narrow MRI tube

This fourth iteration of the robot is the smallest the team has developed and it can now fit inside an MRI scanner's slim tunnel. Five-meter (16.4-ft) long air-pipes run to an external controller, allowing the robot to be directed from outside the MRI. Preliminary tests show the robot can target tissue with sub-millimeter precision when equipped with an MRI compatible needle, a degree of accuracy that would be impossible for a human operator to achieve.

It promises sub-millimeter precision for hard to reach tissue biopsies
It promises sub-millimeter precision for hard to reach tissue biopsies

The team developed the robot in collaboration with a radiologist at Ziekenhuis Groep Twente with a view to making the device suitable for clinical practice. The innovation also recently won an award at the international Hamlyn Symposium in London as part of the Surgical Robotic Challenge.

Take a look at the robot biopsy machine in the video below.

Source: University of Twente

Stormram 4

0 comments
There are no comments. Be the first!