Mr. Mario Sanz Lopez is a design and research engineer at CRIStAL in Lille, developing areas such as medical robotics and medical simulation, with an insight in human-machine interfaces, soft robotics and electronics.

He received a Diploma of Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering in 2013 after a thesis on a Prototype of a Force-feedback Design for Endovascular Navigation in Simulation, destined to be integrated in the SOFA framework along with other human interfaces in the medical field. Engineer at the SHACRA team, he started working on validation systems for phantoms of organs and other soft models simulation, eventually applying this knowledge to soft robots design and fabrication, leading to his integration into DEFROST. In 2016, he joins the technological transfer department, leading to designs of a soft gripper and its industrialization, later joining other industrial targeting projects such as diagnosis systems for AGVs for the VASCO project, and control and supervision systems for railways modelling (UNIRail).

Moving on to 2021, he is applying the knowledge previously gathered to the CoBra project, in the cutting-edge field of in-bore robotics.


Bio-Inspired, Simulation-Coupled, Active Prostate Phantom for Adaptive Interventions Under MRI (CoBra Project)


In the scope of the CoBra project, we propose a new concept for an active, bio-inspired phantom (BIP) of the prostate. The motivation behind the development of such an active-phantom is to mimic the real-organ behaviour during needle interventions for intra-operative treatment, e.g., brachytherapy. During the needle intervention, the prostate undergoes translational and rotational motions, and shows oedema due to the tissue damages. These factors result in lesion/target shift and cause inaccuracies in the dose-deposition. In order to achieve the desired dosimetry during robotised seed delivery, it is necessary to track the shift of lesions due to these factors (translation, change in orientation, and oedema). The novelty of the presented BIP is that it can mimic and sense both the prostate motions and oedema during needle interventions. It is coupled to the simulation framework SOFA through sensors inside the BIP in order to estimate the deformations and external forces. The BIP can be coupled with a robotic system to help in the study of automated needle insertions with adaptive control for precise dosimetry. The BIP is MRI-safe and can be used in-bore, allowing the accuracy validation of intra-operative robotic needle interventions prior to the clinical studies. The shown BIP proof-of-concept, which is in fact an anatomical soft robot, can potentially be extended towards further organs in future.

Learning outcome

Understand the motivations for a BIP design, its principles of actuation and manufacture, and its current and potential applications

Related events

Real-Time MRI guided robot for precise brachytherapy and diagnosis of localized soft tumors

Talk: Bio-Inspired, Simulation-Coupled, Active Prostate Phantom for Adaptive Interventions Under MRI (CoBra Project)
Role: Speaker

23rd July 2021, 15.00