Robotically Assisted Long Bone Biopsy Under MRI Imaging: Workflow and Preclinical Study

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Academic Radiology








long bone biopsy; MR Safe; MRI; Robotics; workflow


© 2018 The Association of University Radiologists Rationale and Objectives Our research team has developed a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-compatible robot for long bone biopsy. The robot is intended to enable a new workflow for bone biopsy in pediatrics under MRI imaging. Our long-term objectives are to minimize trauma and eliminate radiation exposure when diagnosing children with bone cancers and bone infections. This article presents our robotic systems, phantom accuracy studies, and workflow analysis. Materials and Methods This section describes several aspects of our work including the envisioned clinical workflow, the MRI-compatible robot, and the experimental setup. The workflow consists of five steps and is intended to enable the entire procedure to be completed in the MRI suite. The MRI-compatible robot is MR Safe, has 3 degrees of freedom, and a remote center of motion mechanism for orienting a needle guide. The accuracy study was done in a Siemens Aera 1.5T scanner with a long bone phantom. Four targeting holes were drilled in the phantom. Results Each target was approached twice at slightly oblique angles using the robot needle guide for a total of eight attempts. A workflow analysis showed the average time for each targeting attempt was 32 minutes, including robot setup time. The average 3D targeting error was 1.39 mm with a standard deviation of 0.40 mm. All of the targets were successfully reached. Conclusion The results showed the ability of the robotic system in assisting the radiologist to precisely target a bone phantom in the MRI environment. The robot system has several potential advantages for clinical application, including the ability to work at the MRI isocenter and serve as a steady and precise guide.

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