HK sci­en­tists de­sign neu­ro­sur­gi­cal ro­botic sys­tem

BioSpectrum (Asia) - - Science News -

A group of re­searchers at the Univer­sity of Hong Kong has de­vel­oped a ro­botic sys­tem that can per­form neu­ro­surgery in­side a mag­netic res­o­nance imag­ing (MRI) scan­ner. Stereo­tac­tic neu­ro­surgery in­volves us­ing an ex­ter­nal po­si­tion­ing sys­tem to lo­cate tar­gets of sur­gi­cal in­ter­est and guide min­i­mally in­va­sive surgery. It is one of the few treat­ments avail­able for neu­ropsy­chi­atric dis­or­ders such as Parkin­son’s disease, es­sen­tial tremor and ma­jor de­pres­sion. Since MRI scan­ners have very strong mag­netic fields and most metal­lic com­po­nents are for­bid­den in MRI en­vi­ron­ments, the team de­vel­oped a tele-op­er­ated ro­botic sys­tem driven by liq­uid. The sys­tem does not gen­er­ate any elec­tro­mag­netic in­ter­fer­ence or af­fect imag­ing qual­ity. A ma­nip­u­la­tor is de­signed to per­form dex­ter­ous op­er­a­tions on the left and right brain tar­gets, and the area re­quired for an in­va­sive an­chor­age is very small. Fur­ther­more, the com­pact robot can fit in­side a stan­dard MRI head coil, and ad­vanced three-di­men­sional track­ing markers en­able fast localization of robot in­stru­ments in MRI in real time. Ac­cord­ing to the re­searchers, this in­no­va­tion is ex­pected to fa­cil­i­tate the treat­ment of Parkin­son’s disease and other neu­ropsy­chi­atric dis­or­ders, al­low­ing more ac­cu­rate and ef­fec­tive brain surgery. Fur­ther clin­i­cal stud­ies will be con­ducted to de­ter­mine the ef­fi­cacy of the sys­tem.

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