IN THE NEWS
TMC News, August 2017
Texas A&M, May 2017
Houston Chronicle, November 2016
Engineering.com, October 2016
Medical Design Technology, July 2015
GUIDABOT is developing robotic and imaging technologies to enable image-guided interventions (IGI) with real-time MRI (rtMRI) guidance. GuidaBot’s patented technology will allow more efficient and accurate needle placement for MRI-guided interventions. The technology will enable a greater number of interventions to be performed by an imaging facility, thereby increasing throughput and associated revenue.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is often used to guide medical interventions including biopsies, laser ablations, and deep-brain stimulation (DBS) electrode placement. However, current MRI guidance methods do not utilize real-time MR imaging and control, and thus are time-consuming and/or do not provide optimal accuracy of needle placement. There is a need for a device that can manipulate a needle while using real-time MRI guidance, which will provide rapid, accurate needle placement in the target tissue.
GuidaBot is developing a robotic manipulator that is compatible with the strong magnetic field of MRI scanners. The device will enable physicians to remotely maneuver a needle (or other intervention tool) while simultaneously monitoring the position of the needle on the MRI display. The manipulator allows x-y positioning of the needle in a plane, as well as adjusting the angle of approach. This will provide more accurate targeting of needles in comparison to current procedures, meaning that doctors can more effectively diagnose and treat cancers and other diseases. GuidaBot’s real-time image guidance will also result in shorter procedure times, improved patient comfort, and faster recovery, and will enable new procedures beyond current capabilities.
GuidaBot’s platform features a patented technology termed “solid-media transmission” (SMT), consisting of spherical beads and cylindrical spacers contained in channels and flexible tubing, which transmits force from the electric motors to the manipulator. The SMT technology, which was conceived by Dr. Nikolaos Tsekos at the University of Houston, enables the robotic device to be fully MRI-compatible. A second patented technology utilizes tunable fiducial markers and MRI acquisition methods that enable rapid registration of the manipulator, saving procedure time.
Our target entry point is neurosurgical interventions including laser ablations and DBS procedures. Due to the versatility of the GuidaBot platform, there is potential for performing a wide range of medical interventions by substituting different intervention tools. The modular design of the GuidaBot platform will enable the same manipulator unit to access a wide range of organs, simply by switching out the support frame. The GuidaBot device will be developed as an add-on to existing MRI scanners and as optional hardware bundled with new MRI scanners. GuidaBot is a joint venture between the University of Houston and Fannin Innovation Studio.