Brain surgery continues to make great strides in terms of safety and efficacy, but the delicacy involved requires a skill and precision that makes the practice a risky procedure. In the hopes of reducing some of that risk, a research group has developed a brain surgery robot.
Created by a team at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, the Minimally Invasive Neurosurgical Intracranial Robot is designed to assist neurosurgeons in the removal of hard to reach brain tumors. Because tumors can move during surgery, keeping the tumor in sight can be difficult while performing intracranial removals. The brain surgery robot works in tandem with an MRI scanner to always keep the tumor in sight, allowing the removal to proceed unhindered by brain shift complications.
Bringing the robot out of the prototype phase and one step closer to operating rooms, this week the National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded the group $2 million to continue developing the robot into a full-fledged medical tool. In a statement announcing the grant, team member Jaydev P. Desai said, "This technology has the potential to revolutionize the treatment and management of patients with difficult to reach intracranial tumors and to have a direct impact on improving their quality of life."
You can see an early version of the robot in action, sped up 2x, in the video below.