University of Calgary

neuroArm™ technology on the verge of going global

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Posted February 5, 2010

Dr. Garnette Sutherland discusses the neuroArm surgical robot (right side of photo) in the IMRISneuro suite at the Foothills Medical Centre: photo by Calvin SunDr. Garnette Sutherland discusses the neuroArm surgical robot (right side of photo) in the IMRISneuro suite at the Foothills Medical Centre: photo by Calvin SunA global leader in image guided therapy solutions, IMRIS Inc, is acquiring neuroArm™ technology that was developed in part at the University of Calgary and is in use at the IMRISneuro suite at Calgary’s Foothills Medical Centre.

neuroArm™ is the world’s first MRI-compatible surgical robot. It features two robotic arms that a surgeon controls from a computer workstation. Operating in conjunction with real-time MR imaging, the neuroArm™ provides surgeons unprecedented detail and control, allowing them to manipulate tools at a microscopic scale.  This enhanced touch sensation lets the surgeon ‘feel’ very small anatomy.

The first generation of the neuroArm™ was developed at the University of Calgary by a team led by Dr. Garnette Sutherland, a professor in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the Faculty of Medicine; and MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA), a world leader in robotics and the developer of the Canadarm.

IMRIS and MDA will work together to commercialize the technology and bring it to the marketplace.

“This is something very big for the University of Calgary, as it represents yet another technology developed here that will impact the world,” says Sutherland, who is also a member of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the U of C.  “We are excited about this opportunity as IMRIS now has over 35 installations worldwide.”
 
IMRIS will acquire NeuroArm Surgical Limited, a privately held company based in Calgary. 

“This technology offers the potential to increase neurosurgical precision and contribute to less invasive procedures,” says David Graves, IMRIS CEO.  IMRIS and the U of C will work together to leverage the existing clinical setting and data to develop the next generation of the technology.

“We are acquiring a proven technology with tremendous potential applications,” says Graves. “Combining IMRIS’s expertise with MDA’s leading edge robotics capabilities positions us well to bring this exciting new technology to medical practitioners to enhance outcomes for their patients.”