Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Brain Surgery Robot

PostedOctober 13, 2013

Download File (mp3)

Anchor Lead: Surgery to reach tumors deep within the brain can damage healthy areas. To minimize that, a local engineer has created a brain tumor-removing robot.

Randy Atkins: M-R-I machines are used to get images of a brain before surgery, but are generally too cumbersome to use as a tumor is being removed. So Jaydev Desai, a University of Maryland engineer, created a robot to go in and do the job. Jaydev Desai: The physician is actually sitting outside the MRI room and is controlling this device remotely.

Randy Atkins: …while seeing the tumor in real time. The robot is three-to-four inches long, but just half an inch in diameter… so it can travel through a relatively small tube precisely inserted into the brain. Once at its target, the flexible, finger-like robot positions itself, then destroys the growth.

Jaydev Desai: Basically just zapping the tumor tissue. And then you want to sort of suck the debris out, as it’s completing the job.

Randy Atkins: The robot is engineered to do all of that. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.

Anchor Tag: This technique is several years away from being tested in humans.