Two AcuBot robots were made in our URobotics laboratory, one for Dr. Kevin Cleary at the Georgetown Medical Center and one for Hopkins. The Georgetown group has performed a cadaver study for assessing the feasibility and precision of the AcuBot in performing nerve and facet block interventions using a biplanar fluoroscopy imager. The study showed that the robot could reliably place the needles as required with a targeting error of 1.44 ±0.66 mm.
A randomized clinical study of 20 patients undergoing nerve and facet blocks under biplanar fluoroscopy was performed next (Dr. Vance Watson main clinical invesitgator). The study showed 1.1 mm vs. 1.23 mm mean targeting error for the robot and manual access respectively. The pain level pre and post treatment were also comparable in the robot and manual groups. No complications related to the device were encountered.
The Georgetown group has also assessed the applicability of the AcuBot in performing lung biopsy procedures. Because in this case the respiratory motion is a significant problem, a mockup torso with respiratory motion simulation was used. Under CT guidance, a breath hold of 30s was simulated, time in which the physician controlled the insertion of the needle. A total of 20 experiments were performed. The physician was able to robotically hit the lesion in all attempts with an average access time of 12.1±3.1s.