Minimally invasive cardiac surgery is less traumatic and therefore leads to quicker recovery. With the assistance of engineering technologies on devices, imaging, and robotics, in conjunction with surgical technique, minimally invasive cardiac surgery will improve clinical outcomes and expand the cohort of patients that can be treated. We used transapical aortic valve implantation as an example to demonstrate that minimally invasive cardiac surgery can be implemented with the integration of surgical techniques and engineering technologies. Feasibility studies and long-term evaluation results prove that transapical aortic valve implantation under MRI guidance is feasible and practical. We are investigating an MRI compatible robotic surgical system to further assist the surgeon to precisely deliver aortic valve prostheses via a transapical approach. Ex vivo experimentation results indicate that a robotic system can also be employed in in vivo models.
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