Intuitive Surgical, the firm that makes the popular da Vinci surgical robotic systems, won FDA clearance and is releasing a robotic lung biopsy system called Ion in the United States. The catheter-based device allows precise penetration and sampling of tissues deep within the lungs.
The catheter is only 3.5 mm wide and it can rotate and flex 180 degress in any direction. The biopsy needle itself is flexible, so it can pass through the same curvy anatomy that the catheter can navigate through. The 2mm working channel of the catheter can also be used to introduce biopsy forceps and cytology brushes.
The Ion has the ability to know the precise shape and location of the catheter, which is displayed live on a touchscreen display. Additionally, the system is compatible with other imaging modalities, including endobronchial ultrasound, fluoroscopy, and cone-beam CT scanners.
The system is being made available in the U.S. with initial deliveries expected in the second quarter of this year.
Product page: Ion endoluminal system…