The odds of a person getting an intracerebral hemorrhage are one in 50 with a 40% one-month mortality rate, making them the leading form of death and disability. Unfortunately, due to variations in size and location of brain clots, as well as the extremely delicate and invasive process of removing them, advancements in treatment have been slow.
A new image-guided surgical system being developed at Vanderbilt University could increase the odds of survival for patients with intracerebral hemorrhaging by employing the skills of a specially-developed robot. The robot uses a series of steerable needles about the size of biopsy needles to penetrate and navigate through the brain. with minimal damage to the surrounding tissue. and suction away the blood clot. The steerable needles, together called an “active cannula”, are a series of thin tubes, each with their own intrinsic curvature. By extending, retracting, and rotating the tubes, the surgeon can steer the active cannula in a curved path to avoid vital areas of the brain while being guided by a pre-op CT scan.
Here’s a video explaining more about the clot-removing robot:
Article from Vanderbilt University: Robot uses steerable needles to treat brain clots
Journal abstract in IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering: Debulking From Within: A Robotic Steerable Cannula for Intracerebral Hemorrhage Evacuation