A parallel manipulator concept using bistable polymer actuators has been developed to perform prostate cancer biopsy, and deliver therapy within the bore of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. The dielectric elastomer actuators (DEAs) used in this manipulator concept are promising for MRI-compatible robotics because they do not interfere with the high magnetic fields of MRI while having good mechanical performance and being low cost. In the past, these actuators have been plagued by robustness problems when used in a continuous manner. Recent studies show that reliability significantly improves when DEAs are used in a bistable manner, as proposed here. This paper investigates the potential of the proposed manipulator concept by evaluating the positioning accuracy and MRI compatibility of a laboratory prototype, developed for clinically relevant design criteria. An analytical model of the manipulator kinematics is presented. Analytical and experimental results validate that the proposed technology can provide an accurate needle placement required to perform prostate cancer treatments. The prototype's MRI compatibility is validated in a 3 T clinical MRI scanner. The parallel manipulator concept using bistable polymer actuators is shown to be a viable approach to perform MRI-guided needle insertions for prostate cancer biopsy and therapy.
|Journal of Medical Devices, Transactions of the ASME
|Published - 2009 Sept
- Binary robotics
- Dielectric elastomer actuator
- MRI-compatible robot
- Parallel manipulator
- Prostate cancer