Brainlab's mobile surgical imaging robot scores FDA clearance

Brainlab's Loop-X scanner can move itself into position around an operating room and features independently rotating imaging sources and detectors to help center itself around the patient. (Brainlab)

Brainlab has secured two FDA clearances for its robotic surgery systems, including an articulated arm for guiding spine procedures and an autonomously mobile imaging robot. 

The company’s Loop-X scanner-on-wheels is capable of moving itself into position around the operating table and rolling away when it’s not needed. Its X-ray detector and imaging source can both independently rotate around the patient across its large, ringed gantry, to take 2D and 3D scans while narrowing its use of radiation.

Meanwhile, the Cirq robotic arm helps surgeons align their instruments for drilling and the placement of spinal screws, among other procedures, based on preplanned trajectories. It features interchangeable modules and is compatible with multiple implant sets.

The two are designed to work in tandem and can connect with Munich-based Brainlab’s larger digital surgery portfolio. Both previously received CE marks in Europe last year.

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“We’re expanding and diversifying our digital surgery portfolio with robotics across all indications,” Brainlab President Sean Clark said. “Our customers want to offer their patients advanced technologies close to home. Brainlab technologies are designed to enable greater freedom for clinicians and enhance outcomes for patients.”

With a compact footprint and weighing in at just over 1,000 pounds, the Loop-X can be controlled wirelessly with a tablet as well as with a handheld instrument that allows the clinician to physically point to where the scanner should focus.