EDEN 2020

"The Italian universities Politecnico di Milano, Università degli Studi di Milano and Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele have joined EDEN2020 - the EU-funded project on robotic neurosurgery. The international consortium of universities and industry has received a €8.3m grant from the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme for another robotic approach inspired by hightech bio, this time insects cannula.
Coordinated by Dr Ferdinando Rodriguez y Baena, the robotic medical technology expert from Imperial College London, EDEN2020 will develop and test a flexible and steerable robotic needle that will be able to reach and treat areas deep in the brain, while minimising patient-risk. In the treatment of brain gliomas (a particularly aggressive type of tumour), controlled and localised drug delivery - a synergised approach to surgery - is currently performed using a straight, rigid cannula that makes it difficult to avoid any obstacles encountered on the path to the tumour.
EDEN2020 is the result Dr Rodriguez y Baena’s idea to follow nature’s lead in establishing the trajectory to be followed through human  tissue. Indeed, the form of the needle-cannula is inspired by that of the bendable, needle-shaped organ that some insects, such as the wood-boring wasp, use to lay their eggs. Over the past decade, the team at Imperial College London has succeeded in creating the first prototypes for flexible, miniaturised needles. Now an extended group of researchers, including the Dutch University Medical Centre Groningen and the Technical University of Munich alongside Imperial College London, Politecnico di Milano, Università degli Studi di Milano and Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele are working together with industrial partners Renishaw PLC and Xograph Healthcare to carry out the first pre-clinical tests on animals in view of clinical deployment.
Thanks to modern magnetic resonance techniques, such as diffusion-weighted MRI and tractography, which make it possible to study nervous tissue structure and the organisation of the connections between different areas of the brain, the team of neuroradiologists from Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele will provide high-resolution images allowing the surgeon to visualise the tissue affected by the tumour in detail. The resulting images will be used to plan the path of the robotic needle, which the neurosurgeon will then guide using a special joystick.An exteroceptive system, located on the outside of the cannula, will track its position through intraoperative ultrasound imaging, while a sensory system on the cannula will measure the needle’s curvature, ensuring adherence to the planned path and absolute safety for the patient.The surgeon will therefore be able to visually monitor the progress of the robotic needle until it reaches the desired treatment site, where the medication will be released through the cannula."
"University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG) and the University of Twente has been awarded a European grant of €713,000. They will use the funds on a four-year research project into the development of flexible needles fitted with sensors for use in robotic neurosurgery. Prof. Sarthak Misra’s research is part of the European EDEN2020 project in which he and researchers from seven other European universities have joined forces. 
A minimally invasive surgical procedure, such as the introduction of a needle into a brain for a tumour biopsy, must be conducted with the utmost accuracy. An MRI can be used to precisely pinpoint the location of a tumour or other injury, but even the slightest movement of the head can make the needle miss its target. Further it is possible to determine precisely where the needle is in the brain during such a neurosurgical procedure. 
Flexible robotic needles
Prof. Misra intends to use the grant to develop a robotic needle that is fitted with sensors. This will make it possible to detect with micrometre (1/1000th of a millimetre) precision where the needle is during the procedure (along using ultrasound imaging) and the surgeon will be able to control the needle’s path in 3D. The thin needle is flexible and so, in contrast to existing needles, it can be manoeuvred through the body tissue more precisely, enabling the surgeon to avoid sensitive tissues. The needle that will developed as part of EDEN2020 can navigate deep within the human body.  
Prof. Misra has been studying flexible robotic needles and their applications for some years now. For example, at the MIRA institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine of the University of Twente he is developing a robotic system that can inject magnetic particles into the human body using flexible needles, which will make it possible to administer drugs much more accurately. As of 2014, Misra is also affiliated with the UMCG, where he is cooperating with, among others, the departments of neurosurgery and radiology in order to translate the knowledge and experience to clinically-relevant applications."

Video-Final from University of Twente on Vimeo.

Follow them on Twitter!

Source: EDEN, UTwente


Popular Posts