Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation

Medical Imaging
Medical Imaging
Real-Time MRI Guides Surgical Intervention and Limits Human Error
WARF: P150226US01

Inventors: Walter Block, Ethan Brodsky, Miles Olsen

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing a new system and method for using real-time magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to control and guide the placement of devices such as brain ports during surgical procedures.
Many invasive procedures, such as neurosurgeries or breast biopsies, involve inserting a rigid device into the body. To minimize human error, technologies like MRI allow the surgeon to guide the precise placement of such interventional devices according to pre-operative images gleaned from initial scans of the appropriate region.

Problems arise in interpreting images taken during the planning phase, however, as position information may change over time. Additional iterations of scanning and device adjustment are often needed for improved accuracy, but this is time-consuming and difficult, as the surgeon must frequently defer to a team of MR technologists and medical physicists for portions of the procedure rather than running the operation.
The Invention
UW–Madison researchers have developed a new method and accompanying software for using MRI to control and guide the placement of interventional devices during surgery. This method provides the clinician with rapid feedback that enables intuitive, real-time device manipulation.

A pivoting guide is arranged around a subject’s anatomy. Then rapidly acquired radial image data is used to measure two or more marker positions along the guide and calculate the desired trajectory for the interventional device. The device may be placed using a fully automated system, or an audio/visual signal may help the clinician adjust the guide and correctly place the device. In addition, image data may be used to measure two or more marker positions along the interventional device and calculate its location/orientation.
  • Neurosurgery, including placement of deep brain stimulation electrodes or a brain port
  • Breast biopsy
Key Benefits
  • Replaces human image interpretation with computational measurement
  • Reduces human error during invasive surgical intervention
  • Enhances precision with real-time MR data
  • Fast and accurate – does not require time-consuming iterations involving the imaging of full anatomical features
  • Can use commercially available brain ports
  • Amenable to automation
Stage of Development
The inventors have developed the software and vector calculation code for device alignment and monitoring in neurosurgical procedures necessitating brain ports and MRI guidance.
Additional Information
For More Information About the Inventors
  • Johnson K. M., Block W. F., Reeder S. B. and Samsonov A. 2012. Improved Least Squares MR Image Reconstruction Using Estimates of K-Space Data Consistency. Magn. Reson. Med. 67, 1600-1608.
  • Brodsky E. K., Block W. F., Alexander A. L., Emborg M. E., Ross C. D. and Sillay K. A. 2011. Intraoperative Device Targeting Using Real-Rime MRI. Biomedical Sciences and Engineering Conference.
For current licensing status, please contact Jeanine Burmania at [javascript protected email address] or 608-960-9846