A magnetic resonance image-guided breast needle intervention robot system: overview and design considerations

  • Samuel Byeongjun Park
  • Jung-Gun Kim
  • Ki-Woong Lim
  • Chae-Hyun Yoon
  • Dong-Jun Kim
  • Han-Sung Kang
  • Yung-Ho JoEmail author
Original Article



We developed an image-guided intervention robot system that can be operated in a magnetic resonance (MR) imaging gantry. The system incorporates a bendable needle intervention robot for breast cancer patients that overcomes the space limitations of the MR gantry.


Most breast coil designs for breast MR imaging have side openings to allow manual localization. However, for many intervention procedures, the patient must be removed from the gantry. A robotic manipulation system with integrated image guidance software was developed. Our robotic manipulator was designed to be slim, so as to fit between the patient’s side and the MR gantry wall. Only non-magnetic materials were used, and an electromagnetic shield was employed for cables and circuits. The image guidance software was built using open source libraries. In situ feasibility tests were performed in a 3-T MR system. One target point in the breast phantom was chosen by the clinician for each experiment, and our robot moved the needle close to the target point.


Without image-guided feedback control, the needle end could not hit the target point (distance = 5 mm) in the first experiment. Using our robotic system, the needle hits the target lesion of the breast phantom at a distance of 2.3 mm from the same target point using image-guided feedback. The second experiment was performed using other target points, and the distance between the final needle end point and the target point was 0.8 mm.


We successfully developed an MR-guided needle intervention robot for breast cancer patients. Further research will allow the expansion of these interventions.


Breast cancer Medical robotics Magnetic resonance imaging Needle intervention Bendable needle 



This work was supported by a National Cancer Center Grant (NCC-1410580-3).

Compliance with ethical standards


This study was funded by the National Cancer Center (NCC-1410580-3).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and animals participants

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Ethical standards

This article does not contain patient data.


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Copyright information

© CARS 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical EngineeringNational Cancer CenterGoyang-siRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Center for Breast CancerNational Cancer CenterGoyang-siRepublic of Korea

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