NeuroArm, the world’s first MRI-compatible surgical robot, was engineered using plastics, titanium and other non-conductive material.. NeuroArm is a tool that aims to revolutionize neurosurgery and other branches of operative medicine by reducing the constraints of the human hand while maintaining the tactile feedback important to the surgeons. The machine uses something called "motion scaling" which allows the surgeon to be precise within 0.01 mm (compare to 2mm by neurosurgeons with years of experience). With NeuroArm, experience neurosurgeons can join together vessels that are much smaller.
When performing surgery, NeuroArm will be used in conjunction with the iMotion 1.5 Tesla Magnet. The iMotion magnet will move to the patient, "gliding in and out of place as needed, without affecting surgical, anesthetic, and nursing management."
"Tests will be conducted on mannequins, cadavers and tissues to prove to Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that it is safe for people. Officials hope neuroArm will be used to treat its first patient this summer ."
The $27-million NeuroArm project began in 2001 when the namesakes of the Seaman Family MR Research Centre, Calgary philanthropists and brothers Doc, B.J. and Don Seaman provided $2 million to begin planning neuroArm.
NeuroArm is the creation of neurosurgeon Dr. Garnette Sutherland and his team. Dr. Sutherland has spent six years leading a team of Canadian scientists, in cooperation with MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates to design and build a machine “that represents a milestone in medical technology.”
NeuroArm was unveiled on April 17, 2007 in Calgary.