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SBIR Phase I: Optically Actuated MRI-Compatible Active Needle for Medical…

Award Information

National Science Foundation
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2012 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Intelligent Fiber Optic Systems Corporation
2363 Calle Del Mundo Santa Clara, CA -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2012
Title: SBIR Phase I: Optically Actuated MRI-Compatible Active Needle for Medical Interventions
Agency: NSF
Contract: 1143478
Award Amount: $150,000.00


This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project aims to develop miniature optically actuated and instrumented tools that can be used during Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) interventions to make them faster and more precise. The initial focus is an active steerable biopsy needle prototype that uses laser heating conducted via optical fibers to a low temperature (50C) shape memory alloy (SMA) actuator located inside the needle. The prototype employs optical fiber sensing of the needle shape and temperature, for control. In contrast to previous "point and shoot" approaches for needle insertion, a physician will be able to stand outside the scanner bore, guiding an MRI compatible needle through the perineum and steering it to the target in the prostate with visual feedback. The broader/commercial impacts of this research include minimally invasive MRI compatible needles, catheters, and apparatus for ablations and brachytherapy. Following development of the active needle, the IFOS team plans integration with MRI scanning software to significantly reduce time and cost, and increase the precision of MRI guided interventions such as biopsy and brachytherapy. Combined optical actuation, temperature profile and shape monitoring can add still more versatility, allowing IFOS to address the sizeable image guided surgery market. IFOS intends to leverage existing products and strategic partnerships to reduce the technical risk and offer its technology in interdisciplinary fields across the image guided medical industry. This research involves the work of a diverse group of researchers, industrial product developers, surgeons and business people with commercial acumen.

Principal Investigator:

Richard J. Black

Business Contact:

Richard J. Black
Small Business Information at Submission:

2363 Calle Del Mundo Santa Clara, CA -

EIN/Tax ID: 043703938
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No