Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Gregory S. Fischer, Advisor

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Michael A. Gennert, Department Head

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Cagdas D. Onal, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Junichi Tokuda, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Zhi Li, Committee Member




Image guided therapy procedures under MRI guidance has been a focused research area over past decade. Also, over the last decade, various MRI guided robotic devices have been developed and used clinically for percutaneous interventions, such as prostate biopsy, brachytherapy, and tissue ablation. Though MRI provides better soft tissue contrast compared to Computed Tomography and Ultrasound, it poses various challenges like constrained space, less ergonomic patient access and limited material choices due to its high magnetic field. Even after, advancements in MRI compatible actuation methods and robotic devices using them, most MRI guided interventions are still open-loop in nature and relies on preoperative or intraoperative images. In this thesis, an intraoperative MRI guided robotic system for prostate biopsy comprising of an MRI compatible 4-DOF robotic manipulator, robot controller and control application with Clinical User Interface (CUI) and surgical planning applications (3DSlicer and RadVision) is presented. This system utilizes intraoperative images acquired after each full or partial needle insertion for needle tip localization. Presented system was approved by Institutional Review Board at Brigham and Women's Hospital(BWH) and has been used in 30 patient trials. Successful translation of such a system utilizing intraoperative MR images motivated towards the development of a system architecture for close-loop, real-time MRI guided percutaneous interventions. Robot assisted, close-loop intervention could help in accurate positioning and localization of the therapy delivery instrument, improve physician and patient comfort and allow real-time therapy monitoring. Also, utilizing real-time MR images could allow correction of surgical instrument trajectory and controlled therapy delivery. Two of the applications validating the presented architecture; closed-loop needle steering and MRI guided brain tumor ablation are demonstrated under real-time MRI guidance.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Robotics Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





MRI, closed-loop, stereotactic neurosurgery, prostate interventions, needle steering, robot-assisted