A vascular robot developed by Hansen Medical could help surgeons reduce vessel trauma during catheter manipulation, trial data suggests.

The pre-clinical, in-vivo study also found the robot could improve catheter navigation and access time to vessels in some endovascular procedures.

Researchers at the DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center at Methodist Hospital in Houston, US, found that the robot has the potential to standardise catheter navigation, which may lead to more predictable procedures.

The study used a flexible robotic catheter, delivered through a flexible 2mm sheath, allowing physicians to manipulate it using advanced three-dimensional controls and visualisation.

Safety was calculated through gross visual examination and histopathology of target vessels, and angiographic evidence of trauma.

Dr Jean Bismuth, assistant professor at Methodist Hospital, said the trial demonstrated that the robot could be less traumatic to vascular anatomy when compared to manual catheterisation.

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“In addition, these results demonstrate that the use of this vascular robot may reduce harmful radiation exposure to both the patient and clinician.”