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MRI Homepage

Researchers develop PET tracer that can measure damage caused by MS Offers advantages not found with conventional MR

CMS may reimburse MR with cardiac implants beyond 'MR-friendly' Shift attributed to mounting evidence of scan safety

Engineering solution reduces MR production and scanning costs Could cut cost of MR analysis in half

New technique may pave way toward much lower-cost MR technology Eliminates need for superconducting magnets

FDA gives nod to MR-conditional labeling for Abbott ICD and CRT-D Labeling will reduce anxiety for patients who need scanning

MR replaces biopsy in kidney cancer assessment Involves multiparametric MR protocols

Asia-Pacific imaging market to grow at a CAGR of 10 percent through 2021 Technological advancement is one of the main drivers

The five biggest MR stories of 2017 Ultrahigh-powered magnets, a new gold standard in radiotherapy and the Chuck Norris effect on gadolinium

Older pacemakers still safe in MR New findings suggest CMS should change policy to cover these scans

Anatomage launches Anatomage Cloud for medical image sharing Response to rising number of specialists using cone beam CT imaging

Prototype for animal testing in the works

Researchers are developing an army of tiny MR-powered robots to deliver cancer drugs

by Lauren Dubinsky , Senior Reporter
Imagine tiny robots, called microsurgeons, that physicians can steer through blood vessels to deliver cancer drugs. Researchers at the University of Houston and Houston Methodist Hospital are working on making that a reality.

The team is developing imaging technology, control algorithms, ultrafast computational methods and human-machine immersion methods to harness the power of an MR scanner. MR will be used to both provide imaging and steer the .5- to-2-millimeter-robots through the body.

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Even the fastest MR systems on the market are too slow for this procedure and have a time lag before the information is available. Real-time control is required, since blood vessels move around the body and surgeons need to see the anatomy as well as the robot to ensure it’s moving correctly.

MR imaging generates enough magnetic force to move the robots through the body’s venous system, but it can’t penetrate tumors or other tissues. To address that, the team is working on two designs — one based on the principle of mechanical resonance and the modeled after a self-assembling surgical tool.

The University of Houston received a $608,000 Synergy Award from the National Science Foundation to develop a prototype suitable for animal testing. The grant is awarded through NSF’s Cyber-Physical Systems program.

The research team’s goal is to use the power of MR to target delivery with dozens of robots throughout the body.

Even though a single robot is capable of targeting a lesion to deliver chemotherapy or another treatment, the researchers caution that this isn’t practical for late-stage cancer.

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