A robotic biopsy system is under development by European researchers to improve the accuracy of tissue sampling for breast cancer and muscle disease diagnosis. The approach is said to combine the accuracy of magnetic resonance imaging for localizing target tissues with ultrasound and pressure sensing to help navigate the needle.

Siemens, KUKA, and other universities are collaborating in the MRI and Ultrasound Robotic Assisted Biopsy project.Siemens, KUKA, and other universities are collaborating in the MRI and Ultrasound Robotic Assisted Biopsy project.“If a mammography shows a suspicious image then we need to take a small piece of tissue for lab examination. But it’s difficult to determine where the biopsy should be carried out,” says one researcher from University of Twente in The Netherlands. “As a result we overlook too many patients who do indeed have a problem. That’s an issue we hope to solve.”

Siemens, KUKA, and other universities are collaborating in the MRI and Ultrasound Robotic Assisted Biopsy (MURAB) project to build a system that facilitates more precise biopsy diagnostics without the time and cost constraints of MRI procedures.

This may mean that patients will need to spend 15-20 minutes, instead of 45-60, in the MRI scanner. During the biopsy, an offline MRI image is combined with online images from the ultrasound sensor, a merger expected to sharply delineate target tissue.

Source: https://www.utwente.nl/en/news/!/2016/1/461204/biopsy-robot-combines-mri-and-ultrasound

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