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

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1143478
Agency Tracking Number: 1143478
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: BC
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
2363 Calle Del Mundo, Santa Clara, CA, -
DUNS: 877452664
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Richard Black
 (408) 627-4037
Business Contact
 Richard Black
Phone: (408) 627-4037
Research Institution
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.

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