Brain tumors are among the most feared complications of cancer occurring in 20–40% of adult cancer patients. Though there have been significant advances in treatment, the prognosis for these patients is poor. Whether there is a primary malignancy or a secondary malignancy, whenever the brain of the cancer patient is involved in treatment, there is a significant impact on their overall quality of life. While the most optimal treatment currently for most brain tumors involves primary surgical resection, many patients may not be able to undergo that treatment plan due to either their poor general health or an unfavorable location (either deep inside the brain or inaccessibility of the tumor) of the lesion.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides excellent soft tissue contrast and has become a standard imaging modality for physicians in several image-guided interventions. However, the nature of MR imaging imposes several constraints on the development of a robotic system. These challenges include actuator choice, sensor choice, material choice, size of the robot, etc., to name a few.
This talk will focus on our progress on the development of MINIR: Minimally Invasive Neurosurgical Intracranial Robot, and identify the challenges in the development of this meso-scale robotic system operated under MRI guidance.