Osteolytic Lesion Curettage with Snake Robot

We have an active collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory to develop a robotic system for minimally-invasive curettage of osteolytic lesions in bone. One novel aspect of the system is a 6 mm diameter nitinol steerable “snake” end effector with a 4 mm lumen which may be used to deploy a variety of tools into the cavity. Although the initial focusing application is osteolysis associated with wear particles from orthopaedic implants, other potential applications include curettage of other osteolytic lesions such as bone metastases, intra-cardiac applications, and other high-dexterity MIS applications.

See the BIGSS page for additional details on this project.

Path-Planning for Snake Robot

A robotic system has been developed to explore osteolytic lesions in orthopedic surgery. Because of the difficulty of using conventional surgical tools, such exploration is needed in minimally invasive treatments of ``particle diseases,'' which commonly result from material wear in total hip replacements. The path-planning framework we have developed assumes no prior information about the geometry of the osteolytic cavity and relies only on a model of the robot which is capable of collision sensing. The framework relies on an effective combination of local and global exploration strategies. Simulation experiments on surgically-relevant osteolytic cavities demonstrate coverage rates of 82-93%.

Affiliated Labs


  • Murphy RJ, Otake Y, Taylor RH, Armand M. Predicting Kinematics Configuration from String Length for a Snake-like Manipulator Not Exhibiting Constant Curvature Bending, in Proceedings of IROS 2014.
  • Murphy RJ, Kutzer MDM, Segreti SM, Lucas BC, Armand M, Design and kinematic characterization of a surgical manipulator with a focus on treating osteolysis. Robotica, 2013.
  • M.S. Moses, M.D.M. Kutzer, M.Armand, A continuum manipulator made of interlocking fibers, in Proceedings of the 2013 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May 2013.
  • R.J. Murphy, M.D.M. Kutzer, G.S. Chrikijian, M. Armand, Constrained workspace generation for snake-like manipulators with applications to minimally invasive surgery, in Proceedings of the 2013 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May 2013.
  • Y. Otake, J.W. Stayman, W. Zbijewski, R.J. Murphy, M.D. Kutzer, R.H. Taylor, J.H. Siewerdsen, M. Armand, Model-based cone-beam CT reconstruction for image-guided minimally invasive treatment of hip osteolysis, in SPIE Medical Imaging, 867134, 2013.
  • S.M. Segreti, M.D.M. Kutzer, R.J. Murphy, and M. Armand. Cable Length Prediction for a Compliant Surgical Manipulator, in Proceedings of the 2012 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May 2012, pp. 701-708.
  • W.P. Liu, B.C. Lucas, K. Guerin, and E. Plaku, “Sensor and Sampling-based Motion Planning for Minimally Invasive Robotic Exploration of Osteolytic Lesions,” in Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2011 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on, 2011.
research/curretage-snake.txt · Last modified: 2019/08/07 12:01 (external edit)