NeuroArm: Introducing an MRI-compatible image-guided computer-assisted device specifically designed for neurosurgery.

The official launch of neuroArm captivated media attention worldwide.

The project was funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Western Economic Diversification, Alberta Advanced Education and Technology, and the philanthropic community of Calgary. Close collaboration between MDA space robotic engineers of Canadarm fame, and University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services physicians, nurses and scientists were essential for the design and development of neuroArm. Click here to learn more about the project.
Watch the video to see neuroArm at work.
This project has created, for the first time, an image-guided MR-compatible robot for microsurgery and stereotaxy. Sited at the University of Calgary and Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, the surgical robotic system promises to harness the precision and accuracy of robotics with the executive decision-making capacity of the human mind. When paired with the 3.0T intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging system, the surgeon is able to see, in near real time, the status of the lesion, the brain and the location of surgical tools in relationship. Click here to learn more about the project.

neuroArm’s first case

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May 12, 2008 – A team from the Foothills Medical Centre completed the first surgical removal of a brain lesion with the help of an image-guided neurosurgical robot, neuroArm. The patient, 21-year old Paige Nickason, had an olfactory groove meningioma, which was affecting her sense of smell, removed with no complications. Paige suffers from a medical condition, neurofibromatosis, that causes tumours to develop along her exiting cranial nerves. The surgery was the third neurosurgical procedure that she had undergone to date. “I had to have the tumour removed anyway, so I was happy to help by being a part of this historical surgery,” Nickason said. Dr. Garnette Sutherland, the neurosurgeon performing the operation, manipulated the human-like robotic arms from an adjacent control room. Dr. Sutherland confirmed that the surgery was a success, in part due to the increased safety of the machine. “Robotic technology is intrinsically more precise and accurate compared to a surgeon’s hand,” Sutherland explained during the press conference, noting the robot can make more precise incisions and movements. The operation marks the first ever image-guided neurosurgical procedure performed with a robot. To view a photoset of the first case, click here.

Click here to meet the people behind the NeuroArm project.

Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary
University of Calgary
Alberta Health Services
IMRIS/Deerfield Imaging Inc.
Awards & Grants
Order of Canada, Office of the Governor General of Canada
Canada Foundation for Innovation
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Alberta Advanced Education and Technology
Alberta Innovates: Health Solutions
AsTech Awards
Manning Award
How To Contact Us
1st Floor
Health Research Innovation Centre
3280 Hospital Drive NW
Calgary, AB
T2N 4Z6