Stroke surgery and other neuroendovascular procedures could be made safer and easier through robotics, according to research presented at the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery’s (SNIS) 19th annual meeting (25–29 July, Toronto, Canada).
A new multi-articulated, self-steering microcatheter for neuroendovascular surgery has the potential to increase technical precision, reduce procedural time, reduce radiation exposure and enable semi-automation of catheter navigation.
For patients, this could mean safer and more efficient surgeries, better outcomes and an overall seamless experience. This type of technology would be applicable to any neurovascular procedure, all of which require navigation through small, tortuous, delicate vessels. Beyond stroke, these pathologies include brain aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and fistulas (AVFs), and others.
Researchers of the study, “Towards self-steering microcatheters for neurointervention”, tested the robot through mock trials. The prototype autonomously navigated through the minimally invasive surgery simulation.
“The creation of this technology is a first step toward semi-autonomous navigation for neuroendovascular procedures,” said Rohan Chitale (Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, USA), lead author of the study. “We hope that developing robotic catheters that can bend on command and sense their surroundings will allow these complex, risky procedures to be performed more simply and safely.”