New $2M NIH Grant to Advance Brain Surgery Robot Development

New $2M NIH Grant to Advance Brain Surgery Robot Development

A research team from the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore have been awarded a new $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue developing a small robot that could one day be a huge aid to neurosurgeons in removing difficult-to-reach brain tumors. This NIH grant is one of the first awarded to a joint University of Maryland Baltimore and College Park research project under the collaboration between these two research powerhouses that is known as University of Maryland: MPowering the State.

Team members Jaydev P. Desai, PhD, associate professor of mechanical engineering at University of Maryland, College Park, and Rao Gullapalli, MD, associate professor of diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine, and J. Marc Simard, MD, professor of neurosurgery, both at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, have developed their "Minimally Invasive Neurosurgical Intracranial Robot" (MINIR) prototype over a number of years and demonstrated its feasibility, supported in part by a previous NIH grant. Potentially, the MINIR will allow neurosurgeons to access difficult-to-reach tumors with much better outcomes. Using real-time Magnetic Resonance System (MRI), the tumor will always be in sight, minimizing the complications that arise from tumor shifts during resections. The NIH grant will enable the team to develop MINIR-II, a fully MRI-compatible robot and demonstrate its safety and effectiveness.

Between twenty and forty percent of cancer patients develop brain tumors, which have a significant impact on patient personality and quality of life. Currently, attempts to remove these tumors involve primary surgical resection, chemotherapy and radiation but the locations of some tumors are problematic.

Earlier versions of this invention won the University of Maryland Invention of the Year award in the Physical Science Category in 2007.

The University of Maryland: MPowering the State brings together two powerful research universities to join forces on matters of public health, biomedical informatics, and bioengineering. This collaboration aims to have an impact on the state, its economy, the job market, and the next generation of innovators.

For more information, visit: http://www.oea.umaryland.edu/communications/news/?ViewStatus=FullArticle&articleDetail=19278

October 16, 2012


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