As part of a clinical study led by the University Hospital of Rennes, Robocath’s “R-One” robot positioned a stent in an internal carotid artery that supplies blood to the brain. For the company, located in Rouen, this is a first step towards the treatment of cerebrovascular accident (CVA).
After the heart, the brain. Until now, the “R-One” robot from the company Robocath, based in Rouen in Seine-Maritime, was working on the coronary arteries. On November 16, at the University Hospital of Rennes, he positioned a self-deploying stent in an internal carotid artery, which irrigates the vessels of the brain. A few minutes later, the thirty-four-year-old patient’s narrowed artery had returned to its original caliber. « This is one of the very first robotic carotid stentings made in the world, » says Philippe Bencteux, president and founder of Robocath, who received financial support from Philips France in a research partnership with the University Hospital of Rennes.
“The most critical phase in this type of intervention is endovascular navigation and deployment of the stent. The robot makes it possible to have precision to the tenth of a millimeter for perfect positioning of the stent”, explains François Eugène, interventional neuroradiologist at the University Hospital of Rennes, who performed the intervention as part of a clinical study. “The unwanted movements of a manual intervention are avoided, the stent and its support cannot move before the deployment of the stent, because they are locked by the robot”, he adds.
The small arteries of the brain
For Robocath, this successful intervention is a first step towards robotic stroke treatment. “Today we can treat strokes that affect the largest arteries in the brain. Tomorrow, with our next robotic generation, it will be strokes of the smallest arteries of the brain”, announces Philippe Bencteux, who is targeting the market of 600 European interventional neuroradiology centers.
In the medium term, the company plans to couple its robot to a technology allowing remote interventions. She laid the first milestones in January 2021, with a first in vivo vascular intervention 120 km away on the coronary artery of a pig. « To be able to treat patients throughout the territory, our ambition is to place robots in outlying hospitals and carry out interventions remotely from expert centres, generally university hospitals », confides Philippe Bencteux.
Robocath has been a Anaxago portfolio company since 2021.