Plastic Robot With a Vision to Fight Cancer

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Stormram 4 is the name of the world’s most accurate and yet the smallest robot that can carry out biopsy, enable accurate needle control and give quick and accurate diagnosis. Driven by air pressure, this small wonder has been made from 3D printed plastic, which is why it can be used in MRI scanners. It is thus no surprise, that Stormram 4 has won an award in the Surgical Robotic Challenge at the international Hamlyn Symposium in London.  Surgical Robotic Challenge is one of the most important events worldwide in the field of robotic surgery. Stormram 4 is useful in the diagnostic phase of breast cancer. Medical robots are anticipated to become standard procedures in hospitals in the future.

Stormram 4 is So Small, it Fits inside MRI Scanners

The Stormram 4 is controlled from the outside of an MRI scanner by air pipes that are 5 meters long and is driven by curved and rectilinear motors. While the previous versions were too big to fit inside MRI scanners, Stormram 4 is small and easily fits inside the narrow tunnels of an MRI scanner. The robot enables accurate navigation of the biopsy needle during breast cancer or any other form of cancer diagnosis. Cells that are affected or tumor cells are destroyed by means of hot( thermal ablation) needles or cold needles (cryoablation), thereby eliminating invasive surgical procedures.

Why Plastic for Stormram 4?

While MRI scanning is the solution for detection and for viewing the location of an affected tissue, it is not accurate unless the needles are controlled by hands. Thus, robotics come into picture and offers a solution. As most of the robots are made of metals, they cannot be used near the strong magnetic fields of MRI scanners and thus, Ziekenhuis Groep Twente (ZGT) in collaboration with the UT has made the Stormram 4 robot from plastic entirely.

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