A prototype of a magnetic resonance (MR)-compatible surgical manipulator was designed and evaluated. The manipulator is designed so as to fit into vertical magnetic field open-configuration MR imagers. Moreover, it is designed to work without being fixed to an MR imager, and its electrical circuits and lines of actuators and sensors are independent of the room shield so that it could be installed in various kinds of settings at many MR imager sites without any additional construction. The MR compatibility of the manipulator was evaluated: no noticeable deformation was observed in the MR images even when the manipulator was in motion. Although the signal-to-noise deterioration ratio was higher than that previously reported, the MR images were thought to be good enough for recognizing the whole structure of a targeted organ and for following the relative position of the manipulator tip with regard to the target, i.e. MR tracking.
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