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MRI and CT Compatible Robot Alleviates Patient Discomfort in Needle Placement Procedures


Researchers at Children's National Hospital have developed an efficient, adjustable, MRI/CT- compatible and patient-mountable robot that allows physicians to target anatomy of interest during an MRI or CT guided procedures. This innovative robot overcomes the need for conventional two-step imaging process, and reduces cost, patient discomfort and patient exposure to radiation.


American children within the age group of 5-14 may experience at least one-sports related injury on average during their playing years. Many of these injuries require evaluation and/or interventional procedures such as arthrography. Conventional arthrography procedures involve a two-step process of intra-articular contrast injection guided by fluoroscopy or ultrasound followed by an MRI. Children’s robotic technology eliminates the need for additional uncomfortable procedures (especially in pediatric patients) and reduces radiation exposure by allowing physicians to conduct the procedure in a single step. The following are the advantages offered by this technology:

  1. High accuracy for procedures such as needle placement.
  2. MRI/CT compatible in terms of size and use of non-ferromagnetic materials used to make the robots.
  3. Highly adjustable and stable mechanism with four degrees of freedom (DOF) movement for the robot and two DOFs for the needle orientation.
  4. Efficient clinical workflow reduces need for multiple steps and radiation based procedures.
  5. Low cost and lower likelihood or radiation exposure as fewer imaging procedures required.
  6. User-friendly interface and easy sterilization procedure.
  7. Easily portable, disposable compared to conventional large and bulky robots.


  • Applicable in interventional procedures such as arthrography, image-guided needle placement procedures such as facet joint injection biopsy (e.g. lung, liver), lesion ablation
  • Compatible with different imaging modalities: CT, ultrasound and fluoroscopy
  • Applicable in pediatric and adult patients

Stage of Development

  • Preclinical studies ongoing.
  • Clinical studies planned.

Intellectual Property Status

  • Issued U.S. Patent, 9,326,825 “Patient Mounted MRI and CT Compatible Robot for Needled Guidance in Interventional Procedures”

This technology is available for exclusive or non-exclusive licensing.

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