Robotic guidewire to treat neurovascular disease

Xuanhe Zhao and Yoonho Kim

Neurovascular diseases, including stroke and aneurysms, are medical conditions with significant morbidity and mortality rates worldwide. Early intervention is critical, and usually involves endovascular treatment. However, some lesions are hard to reach using traditional manual guidewires.

This team developed “Robo-thread”, a magnetically steerable guidewire that is soft and thin enough to navigate the brain’s major arteries to treat patients affected by stroke or aneurysms. An accompanying robotic manipulation platform would allow surgeons to work remotely, minimizing their X-ray exposure, and provide safe and quick access to hard-to-reach lesions in the brain. This has the potential to improve the quality of endovascular neurosurgery and opens the door to additional remote procedures.