Design of an MRI-compatible robotic stereotactic device for minimally invasive interventions in the breast

Blake T. Larson, Arthur G. Erdman, Nikolaos V. Tsekos, Essa Yacoub, Panagiotis V. Tsekos, Ioannis G. Koutlas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


The objective of this work was to develop a robotic device to perform biopsy and therapeutic interventions in the breast with real-time magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guidance. The device was designed to allow for (i) stabilization of the breast by compression, (ii) definition of the interventional probe trajectory by setting the height and pitch of a probe insertion apparatus, and (iii) positioning of an interventional probe by setting the depth of insertion. The apparatus is fitted with five computer-controlled degrees of freedom for delivering an interventional procedure. The entire device is constructed of MR compatible materials, i.e. nonmagnetic and non-conductive, to eliminate artifacts and distortion of the MR images. The apparatus is remotely controlled by means of ultrasonic motors and a graphical user interface, providing real-time MR-guided planning and monitoring of the operation. Joint motion measurements found probe placement in less than 50 s and sub-millimeter repeatability of the probe tip for same-direction point-to-point movements. However, backlash in the rotation joint may incur probe tip positional errors of up to 5 mm at a distance of 40 mm from the rotation axis, which may occur for women with large breasts. The imprecision caused by this backlash becomes negligible as the probe tip nears the rotation axis. Real-time MR-guidance will allow the physician to correct this error. Compatibility of the device within the MR environment was successfully tested on a 4 Tesla MR human scanner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)458-465
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of biomechanical engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2004


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