IGAR Breast System: MRI Breast Biopsy and Ablation

The Image Guided Automated Robot (IGAR) is designed for early detection and treatment of breast cancer. IGAR integrates seamlessly with the MR imaging system, allowing a radiologist to select a target on a patient’s scan and then confidently direct the intervention with millimeter accuracy.

Dr. Nathalie Duchesne

Photo of Dr. Nathalie Duchesne, Breast Radiologist, Hopital du Saint-Sacrement, Quebec City conducts the first clinical trials.

IGAR has the potential to transform the care pathway for cancer patients by enabling a “one-stop” system for diagnosis, treatment, and intervention. IGAR can first perform a biopsy of a suspicious lesion, which can then be followed by ablation of biopsy site margins if clinically appropriate. For lesions or tumors that may require lumpectomy, image guided seed localization in the breast can also be done with IGAR, improving success rates and avoiding re-incision.



IGAR in the News (read more IGAR news)



Canadian Space Agency


CBC's The National, Remarkable Canadarm, "Technology is being deployed for Breast Cancer Surgery"



The Evolution of IGAR

IGAR leverages Canadian space technology and utilizes many of the same scientific advancements that were used in the construction of the CanadaArm.

The current IGAR model contains a highly accurate, needle-based positioning mechanism that could be extremely valuable in other clinical procedures. IGAR’s initial regulatory clearance applies to the MRI-guided breast biopsy procedure, but subsequent versions of the system may be capable of sentinel node biopsy as well as lung, liver, and kidney biopsy. Future robotic offerings may extend beyond soft-tissue interventions and could involve the creation of robotics in spinal surgery, ear/nose/throat (ENT) surgery, microsurgery and neurology.

CSii is dedicated to improving patient care and surgical practices, and thus is also exploring the use of teleoperated robotic systems. Teleoperation of surgical technologies would allow experienced physicians to share their expertise with remote communities through telementoring and the remote control of robotic systems. This would allow Canadians across the country to benefit from improved access to high-quality healthcare.

The next version of the system will also be capable of performing sentinel node biopsy for staging of breast cancer. Currently, few surgeons in larger sites can perform a sentinel node biopsy due to the need for a highly skilled surgical team to conduct the procedure. Image guided accuracy to secure this tissue therefore has a significant advantage over standard manual procedures.

After establishing the IGAR system's capabilities in a solid organ such as the lung, we would progress to other diseases where image-guided accuracy is important; namely liver disease and kidney disease.  CSii will be able to further expand our future robotic offerings to improve patient care and surgeon practices via the creation of robotics in spinal surgery, ear/nose/throat (ENT) surgery, microsurgery and neurology.


IGAR - Breast:  From Concept to Completion in Four Years

Illustration gallery:

IGAR – Breast Prototype 1

IGAR – Breast Prototype, Imaging Research Centre

IGAR Prototype 2  & MRI – Imaging Research Centre

IGAR – Breast in MRI

IGAR Breast – Prototype for Clinical Trials