Intra-op Image-guided Robotics

High-performance Continuous Hydraulic Motor for MR Safe Robotic Teleoperation


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided intervention has drawn increasing attention over the last decade. It is accredited to the capability of monitoring any physiological change of soft tissue with the high-contrast MR images. This also gives rise to the demand for precise tele-manipulation of interventional instruments. However, there is still lack of choices of MR safe actuators that provide high-fidelity robot manipulation. In this project, we present a three-cylinder hydraulic motor using rolling-diaphragm-sealed cylinders, which can provide continuous bidirectional rotation with unlimited range. Both kinematics and dynamics models of the presented motor were studied, which facilitate its overall design optimization and position/torque control. Motor performance, such as step response, frequency response, and accuracy, were experimentally evaluated. We also integrate the motor into our catheter robot prototype designed for intra-operative MRI-guided cardiac electrophysiology (EP), which can provide full-degree-of-freedom and precise manipulation of a standard EP catheter.

[Video: High-performance Continuous Hydraulic Motor for MR Safe Robotic Teleoperation]

MRI-guided Robot for Bilateral Stereotactic Neurosurgery


Stereotactic neurosurgery is a treatment to a variety of movement and neuropsychiatric disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease (PD), essential tremor and major depression. The operation still remains challenging due to its complicated workflow and high demand for surgical accuracy, which can be further complicated by deformation of intracranial contents, namely “brain shift”. These complications create an increasing need for intra-operative MRI-guided stereotaxy. Unlike fluoroscopy/CT, MRI can directly visualize the critical brain structures and targets of interest (e.g., the subthalamic nucleus (STN)). Currently, there are very limited choices of MR safe stereotactic systems. They generally require intensive manual adjustment of the stereotactic frame, and the patient to be transferred in-and-out of the scanner bore. This inevitably disrupts the normal surgical workflow. To this end, we have developed an intra-operative MRI-guided robot for bilateral stereotactic procedures. Its compact design enables robot’s operation within the constrained space of standard imaging head coil. MR-safe and high-performance hydraulic transmissions are incorporated, and wireless MR-based tracking coil units allow real-time positional feedback directly in MR image coordinates.

[Video: MRI-guided Robot for Bilateral Stereotactic Neurosurgery]

MRI-guided Robot for Intra-operative Cardiac Catheterization


This robotic catheter platform intends to provide safe and effective electrophysiology (EP) intervention under the guidance of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In cardiac EP intervention, a long catheter (>1m) is delivered to the heart chamber where radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is performed to isolate the abnormal electrophysiological signals. The safety and effectiveness of EP intervention can be enhanced by providing high quality intra-operative MR images and MR-conditional robotic platform for effective catheterization. Currently, no existing commercial nor research prototype for robotic catheterization is MR-conditional. We develop the MR-conditional catheter robotic system for effective catheter manipulation that makes use of MR-safe/conditional actuation, intra-operative MRI techniques, real-time visual feedback and an advanced kinematics control method.

[Video: MRI-guided Robot for Intra-operative Cardiac Catheterization]

Publications


[1]   Z. Dong, Z. Guo, K.H. Lee, G. Fang, W.L. Tang, H.C. Chang, D.T.M. Chan and K.W. Kwok,"High-performance Continuous Hydraulic Motor for MR Safe Robotic Teleoperation," IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L) (In press)  Detail

[2]   Z. Guo, Z. Dong, K.H. Lee, C.L. Cheung, H.C. Fu, J.D.L. Ho, H. He, W.S. Poon, D.T.M. Chan, K.W. Kwok,"Compact Design of a Hydraulic Driving Robot for Intra-operative MRI-guided Bilateral Stereotactic Neurosurgery," IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 2515-2522. 2018.  Detail

[3]   K.H. Lee, D.K.C. Fu, Z. Guo, Z. Dong, M.C.W. Leong, C.L. Cheung, A.P.W. Lee, K.W. Kwok,"MR Safe Robotic Manipulator for MRI-guided Intra-cardiac Catheterization," IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics (TMech), vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 586-595, 2018.   Detail

[4]   Z. Guo, T. L. T. Lun, Y. Chen, H. Su, D.T.M. Chan, K.W. Kwok,"Novel Design of an MR-safe Pneumatic Stepper Motor for MRI-guided Robotic Interventions," Proceedings of Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics, 2016, pp. 50-51.  Detail

Awards


1.   Best Conference Paper Award in the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 2018 (ICRA’18).
[The best out of 2,539 papers accepted by this top leading conference in robotics]
Authors and title: Z. Guo, Z. Dong, K.H. Lee, C.L. Cheung, H.C. Fu, J.D.L. Ho, H. He, W.S. Poon, D.T.M. Chan, K.W. Kwok, "Compact Design of a Hydraulic Driving Robot for Intra-operative MRI-guided Bilateral Stereotactic Neurosurgery."

2.   Finalist for ICRA Best Medical Robotics Paper Award in the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 2018 (ICRA’18).
[sponsored by Intuitive Surgical Inc.]
Authors and title: Z. Guo, Z. Dong, K.H. Lee, C.L. Cheung, H.C. Fu, J.D.L. Ho, H. He, W.S. Poon, D.T.M. Chan, K.W. Kwok, "Compact Design of a Hydraulic Driving Robot for Intra-operative MRI-guided Bilateral Stereotactic Neurosurgery."

3.   Merit Poster Award in the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, 2017 (ICRA’17), presented by the workshop C4 Surgical Robots: Compliant, Continuum, Cognitive, and Collaborative. Authors and title: Z. Dong, Z. Guo, K.C.D. Fu, K.H. Lee, M.C.W. Leong, C.L. Cheung, A.P.W. Lee, W. Luk and K.W. Kwok, "A Robotic Catheter System for MRI-guided Cardiac Electrophysiological Intervention."

4.   Best Live Demonstration prize – Surgical Robot Challenge 2016, organized by EPSRC UK-RAS Network. Title: "MR-conditional Catheter Robot for MRI-guided Cardiac Electrophysiological Intervention."

Patent


1.   US Provisional Pat: “MRI Tracking Device Design, Fabrication, and Methods of use for MRI-Guided Robotic System”: US 62/640,798 (Filed on 9 Mar, 2018)

2.   US Provisional Pat: “Fluid Powered Master-Slave Actuation for MRI-Guided Interventions”: US 62/640,302 (Filed on 8 Mar, 2018)

3.   US Provisional Pat: “Robotic Stereotactic System for MRI-Guided Neurosurgery”: US 62/623,280 (Filed on 29 Jan, 2018)

4.   PCT Provisional Pat: Robotic Catheter System for MRI-guided Cardiovascular Interventions: PCT/CN2017/089701 (Filed on 2017. Licensed by APTUS Therapeutics Limited.)

5.   US Provisional Pat: Robotic Catheter System for MRI-guided Cardiovascular Interventions: 04435/005210-US0 (Filed on Jun 24, 2016. Licensed by APTUS Therapeutics Limited.)