Researchers at the University of Twente's MIRA Institute for Biomedical Technology, in partnership with Radboud University, are working to develop robot-assisted surgery inside a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. The development of this technology will be carried out as part of the Minimally Invasive Robotics in an MRI Environment (MIRIAM) project. The researchers will be examining the possibilities offered by MRI for the accurate positioning of needles and other medical equipment.
The MIRIAM project will focus on the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer, and the researchers hope to use the robot-assisted technique for taking tissue samples and when treating prostate cancer with the help of brachytherapy, which involves placing radioactive material inside the tumor. Conducting these operations inside an MRI scanner would allow doctors to see real-time images showing whether the needle had been correctly positioned.
The project will not only bring about an improvement in health care, it could also have a considerable economic impact, say the researchers.
From University of Twente (Netherlands)
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