Skip to Main Content
Robotic manipulators have emerged and are continuously evolving as a valuable tool in medical applications. This work introduces a new biomedical application for robotics: multimodality imaging by facilitating scanning of spatially localized bio-sensing and co-registration. Established or currently emerging molecular and near cellular modalities, such as optical and magnetic resonance spectroscopy, offer new opportunities for assessing tissue pathophysiology in situ. The limited tissue penetration of those modalities can be addressed by locally placing the sensor, i.e. with a minimally invasive trans-needle or trans-catheter approach. Herein, we describe the use of a robotic manipulator to scan the area of interest by carrying such a sensor for generating 1-D scans while registering them to a guiding modality. The approach is demonstrated by using a miniature RF coil for collecting proton MR spectra (MRS) and scanning an area of interest on phantoms with the manipulator. MRI is used to guide this procedure as well as co-register MR imaging and spectroscopy. LineScans on two compartment phantoms demonstrated a clear spatial distribution of the resonances originating from those compartments in agreement with the scout guiding MR images. The system described herein, is a generalized platform for performing MR-guided multimodality and multilevel sensing.