Precision placement of instruments for minimally invasive procedures using a "needle driver" robot.

K. Cleary, V. Watson, D. Lindisch, R. H. Taylor, G. Fichtinger, S. Xu, C. S. White, J. Donlon, M. Taylor, A. Patriciu, D. Mazilu, D. Stoianovici

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Medical practice continues to move toward less invasive procedures. Many of these procedures require the precision placement of a needle in the anatomy. Over the past several years, our research team has been investigating the use of a robotic needle driver to assist the physician in this task. This paper summarizes our work in this area. The robotic system is briefly described, followed by a description of a clinical trial in spinal nerve blockade. The robot was used under joystick control to place a 22 gauge needle in the spines of 10 patients using fluoroscopic imaging. The results were equivalent to the current manual procedure. We next describe our follow-up clinical application in lung biopsy for lung cancer screening under CT fluoroscopy. The system concept is discussed and the results of a phantom study are presented. A start-up company named ImageGuide has recently been formed to commercialize the robot. Their revised robot design is presented, along with plans to install a ceiling-mounted version of the robot in the CT fluoroscopy suite at Georgetown University.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-47
Number of pages8
JournalThe international journal of medical robotics + computer assisted surgery : MRCAS
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Biophysics
  • Computer Science Applications


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