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Medical robot can do organ biopsies during MRI scans


The Johns Hopkins Urology Robotics Lab based in Baltimore, Maryland has developed a medical robot called the PneuStep that is capable of carrying out organ biopsies in the process of an MRI scan. The robot features a motor that provides power "without metal or electricity" which means that it can operate within the intense magnetic fields generated by Magnetic Resonance Imaging machines. Instead, it is made of "plastics, ceramics and rubber" and is "driven by light and air": specifically, a series of pistons and gears which are controlled by a computer in the next room. The motor also happens to be far more precise than the bags of meat that we usually trust to remove our tumors. The PneuStep could improve the treatment of prostate cancer, which is apparently in many cases impossible to spot outside of an MRI machine. Previously, surgeons relied on "blind" biopsies in the case of operations on organs like the prostate. We'd imagine then that the addition of this robot to a surgeon's tool box will do wonders for patient morale.

[Via Medgadget]

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