Robot-assisted needle placement in open MRI: System architecture, integration and validation

S. P. DiMaio, S. Pieper, K. Chinzei, N. Hata, S. J. Haker, D. F. Kacher, G. Fichtinger, C. M. Tempany, R. Kikinis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


In prostate cancer treatment, there is a move toward targeted interventions for biopsy and therapy, which has precipitated the need for precise image-guided methods for needle placement. This paper describes an integrated system for planning and performing percutaneous procedures with robotic assistance under MRI guidance. A graphical planning interface allows the physician to specify the set of desired needle trajectories, based on anatomical structures and lesions observed in the patient's registered pre-operative and pre-procedural MR images, immediately prior to the intervention in an open-bore MRI scanner. All image-space coordinates are automatically computed, and are used to position a needle guide by means of an MRI-compatible robotic manipulator, thus avoiding the limitations of the traditional fixed needle template. Automatic alignment of real-time intra-operative images aids visualization of the needle as it is manually inserted through the guide. Results from in-scanner phantom experiments are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-24
Number of pages10
JournalComputer Aided Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • MRI-compatible robot
  • Open MRI
  • Percutaneous therapy
  • Prostate cancer
  • Robotic assistant
  • Targeted needle biopsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Surgery
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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