We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress hp
Sign In
Advertise with Us
Radcal

Download Mobile App




New Soft Robotic System to Streamline Brain Surgery

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 23 Oct 2023
Print article
Image: Air pressure within the two channels of the robotic catheter tip determines whether it deflects left or right (Photo courtesy of Johns Hopkins University)
Image: Air pressure within the two channels of the robotic catheter tip determines whether it deflects left or right (Photo courtesy of Johns Hopkins University)

Navigating the complex blood vessels of the brain using traditional surgical instruments is an intricate task, even for highly skilled surgeons. Robotic assistance has the potential to help neurosurgeons operate much more easily. Now, researchers have developed a foundational model for a soft robotic tool and control system that could give surgeons better control and precision within the brain while performing difficult neurosurgeries. Recent studies have shown that this system is intuitive and highly accurate. Preliminary findings indicate that this robot could potentially make minimally invasive brain surgeries for critical conditions like aneurysms more efficient and effective.

One standard way to treat a brain aneurysm — a weakened blood vessel that bulges and fills with blood —is to guide a plastic tube, known as a catheter, through an artery usually starting at the groin. The aim is to reach the aneurysm and seal it without damaging any other vessels along the way. Surgeons traditionally bend the catheter tips for better navigation and then manually turn them as they move toward the aneurysm. After studying surgical procedures and gathering insights from neurosurgeons, researchers at Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD, USA) and the University of Maryland (College Park, MD, USA) concluded that a steerable robotic tool could greatly improve the process.

The researchers engineered a catheter tip controlled by air pressure, often referred to as pneumatic. They used 3D printing to create the tip from a soft, flexible resin and included two hollow channels along its length. When individually pressurized, these channels cause the tip to bend either left or right. While the idea of a bendable catheter tip is not new, the researchers focused on an unmet need—integrating a control system that aligns with existing clinical practices. They developed a hand-operated dial that allows surgeons to adjust the catheter tip’s position with more precision, as well as providing haptic feedback to indicate the bending of the tip. This system allows surgeons to advance the catheter with one hand while precisely controlling its angle with the other.

To evaluate the new tool, the researchers had two participants—one experienced neurosurgeon and another without surgical experience—maneuver the robotic tip to hit an array of tiny targets. They used one hand to advance the catheter and the other to control the dial, bending the tips closer to each target. Both were successful in achieving sub-millimeter precision, which is less than the diameter of brain vessels and aneurysm openings. The neurosurgeon was naturally faster and more accurate, but the novice showed matching accuracy levels over time. Encouraged by these positive results, the research team is keen to further develop the robotic tool. The researchers plan to reduce its size to make it more clinically applicable and test it in more anatomically accurate settings. Additionally, they aim to expand the tool's capabilities by adding a series of tips, allowing it to form more complex shapes and better navigate the complex brain vasculature.

“The soft microcatheter tip is highly innovative and could be key for widespread use of robotics in endovascular surgery,” said Moria Bittmann, Ph.D., director of the NIBIB Robotics Program.

Related Links:
Johns Hopkins University 
University of Maryland

Gold Member
Disposable Protective Suit For Medical Use
Disposable Protective Suit For Medical Use
Gold Member
12-Channel ECG
CM1200B
Silver Member
Wireless Mobile ECG Recorder
NR-1207-3/NR-1207-E
New
Silver Member
ECG Cart System
NECG Trolley

Print article

Channels

Critical Care

view channel
Image: The AI model uses data from patients\' electronic health records to predict their chances of surviving CRRT (Photo courtesy of 123RF)

AI Model Accurately Predicts Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy Survival

Continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) is a type of dialysis used for severely ill patients who are unable to undergo regular hemodialysis. Although CRRT has been in use for many decades, there is... Read more

Patient Care

view channel
Image: The portable, handheld BeamClean technology inactivates pathogens on commonly touched surfaces in seconds (Photo courtesy of Freestyle Partners)

First-Of-Its-Kind Portable Germicidal Light Technology Disinfects High-Touch Clinical Surfaces in Seconds

Reducing healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) remains a pressing issue within global healthcare systems. In the United States alone, 1.7 million patients contract HAIs annually, leading to approximately... Read more

Health IT

view channel
Image: First ever institution-specific model provides significant performance advantage over current population-derived models (Photo courtesy of Mount Sinai)

Machine Learning Model Improves Mortality Risk Prediction for Cardiac Surgery Patients

Machine learning algorithms have been deployed to create predictive models in various medical fields, with some demonstrating improved outcomes compared to their standard-of-care counterparts.... Read more

Point of Care

view channel
Image: POCT offers cost-effective, accessible, and immediate diagnostic solutions (Photo courtesy of Flinders University)

POCT for Infectious Diseases Delivers Laboratory Equivalent Pathology Results

On-site pathology tests for infectious diseases in rural and remote locations can achieve the same level of reliability and accuracy as those conducted in hospital laboratories, a recent study suggests.... Read more

Business

view channel
Image: The finalists have been announced for the IHF Awards 2024 (Photo courtesy of IHF)

International Hospital Federation Awards 2024 Finalists Announced

The International Hospital Federation (IHF; Geneva, Switzerland) has announced the finalists of the IHF Awards 2024 after the judges completed scoring entries in all 7 Award categories. The IHF Awards... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2024 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.