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LPR: A Light Puncture Robot for CT and MRI Interventions

In the interventional radiology field, image guided percutaneous interventions are common procedures used for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes. However, even with MR or CT image guidance, the precise insertion of biopsy needles or tumor ablation applicators remains a challenging task. Also, when CT is used to guide interventions, patients and physicians are ex-posed to CT radiations.
In this context, puncture robots may be very helpful. They have the potential to work within CT or MRI, and to decrease the intervention duration while providing optimal accuracy and safety to patients.
These factors have motivated our research in the development of a new lightweight robot for abdominal and thoracic percutaneous procedures that is compatible with CT, open MR, and closed MR systems.

This robot, named LPR (acronym for Light Puncture Robot), possesses five DoFs with an original compact body-supported architecture, which is naturally able to follow the patient body surface respiratory movements. It is lightweight (1 kg), compact (15 x 23 cm), and its installation is particularly simple, so that the necessary set-up time is greatly reduced. It is entirely made of plastic, and uses MR-compatible pneumatic actuators powered by compressed air. It is localized via an image-based control using a localization device which is totally integrated to the robot. The physician is also included in the control loop, since he/she selects the target and the entry point and supervises the whole process.

Open loop performance parameters experiments gave the following results.

- E. Taillant, J. Avila-Vilchis, C. Allegrini, I. Bricault, and P. Cinquin. “CT and MR compatible Light Puncture Robot: Architectural Design and First Experiments”. In Proceedings of IEEE Mechatronics and Robotics, 2004, pp.1430-1435

- E. Taillant, J. Avila-Vilchis, C. Allegrini, I. Bricault, and P. Cinquin. “CT and MR compatible Light Puncture Robot: Architectural Design and first experiments”. In Proceedings of Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Interventions (MICCAI), Springer Verlag, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol3216, 2004, pp.145-152

- I. Bricault, N. Zemiti, E. Jouniaux, C. Fouard, F. Dorandeu, and P. Cinquin. “LPR: A Light Puncture Robot for CT and MR Interventions”. To appear in the special issue on MR-Compatible Robotics of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine. May/June 2008

Collaborations : Medical Imaging Department (Pr. G. Ferretti, Dr. I. Bricault) and MRI Unit (Pr. J. F. Lebas, L. Lamalle) of Grenoble University Hospital, PRAXIM-Medivision, Alpes-Instruments.
Status: protected by patents, experiments on phantom have shown the capacity of LPR to reach its target with millimeter accuracy. In-vivo experiments on pigs, under CT-scan setting, have demonstrated the feasibility of the LPR concept during clinical conditions. First experi-ments under MRI have demonstrated the MR-compatibility of the LPR robot.

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