The MURAB project has the ambition to drastically improve precision and effectiveness of the biopsy gathering for cancer diagnostic operations. By reducing the usage of expensive Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to a minimum in the workflow and at the same time yield the same precision during samples targeting, a new workflow will be offered to the practice. Guided by a novel MRI-Ultrasound (US) registration, a robotically steered US transducer equipped with an acoustically transparent force sensing will autonomously scan the target area and optimally acquire volumetric and elastographic data. An innovative technique, called Tissue Active Slam (TAS), will be developed in the project to optimally register the intraoperational acquired volume to the preoperational MR image.
Once that is done, the radiologist can select the target on the mixed image and the robot will steer the instrument to the exact desired pose by adapting the instruments orientation on the basis of real time US measurements. Tissue deformations will be predicted based on the acquired elastographic measurements. Such a procedure has the potential to significantly improve the clinical workflow and save lives by ensuring an exact targeting of early-stage (small) lesions, which are visible under MR and not under US. Two clinical scenarios will be targeted and validated in the project: breast cancer diagnostics (MUW and ZGT) and muscle disease diagnostics (UMCN). Considering the potential for the market, industrial partners are involved with expertise in the delivery of components and safe applications of robotics (KUKA), as well as with great knowledge and ambition in pushing innovation to the medical market (SIEMENS).