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A Robot Able To Perform Biopsies Under MRI

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) generates strong magnetic fields in order to give accurate internal pictures of the human body. The presence of these fields prevents all metallic equipment from being used during the imaging procedure. As a result, surgeons have to rely on pictures taken previously to locate a tumor or any mass of cells that needs removing in the operating theater.

Engineers at the Johns Hopkins Urology Robotics Lab have devised a motor, called PneuStep, entirely made of plastic, ceramics and rubber. Since electric fields can distort MRI pictures, this motor operates only with air and light, and is computer-controlled to achieve even better accuracy than a skilled human hand.

This motor is still currently undergoing pre-clinical trials, but offers new hopes of direct surgery under MRI for prostate cancers which are easy to miss with the naked eye and can only be detected accurately through the use of this new technology.

Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine

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