Researchers from the Polytechnique Montréal have invented a technique to make robotic navigations of tethered instruments possible for deep vascular regions, such as a human brain.

Navigation through blood vessels requires the miniaturisation of instruments to the degrees where previously designed tools become unpractical. To resolve this dilemma, the researchers developed and successfully tested the breakthrough method to use the clinical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner’s powers for navigating the instrument through the human body.

The method that was called fringe field navigation (FFN) results in navigating forces being achieved “ by robotically positioning the patient at predetermined successive locations inside the fringe field”. According to scientists, in vitro and in vivo has proven the unprecedented usability of the method.

The research findings could be used “to reach deeper physiological locations presently inaccessible”, extending the possibilities of medical interventions both in diagnostic procedures and therapy, reported the scientists.

The director of NanoRobotics Laboratory, where the research was conducted, reportedly shared that possible applications of the technology could include interventions in brain or urology, for example. Co-author Arash Azizi added that further research will focus on customising the technology for different parts of the body.

Current research findings were published in the article “Using the fringe field of a clinical MRI scanner enables robotic navigation of tethered instruments in deeper vascular regions” published in Science Robotics on November 27.


As Future Time previously reported, Cheshire and Mersey Stroke Strategic Clinical Network in UK has already integrated AI algorithms for stroke patients diagnosis.