ERC Proof of Concept Grant – APOLLO

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Professor Sarthak Misra who leads the Surgical Robotics Laboratory (SRL) has been honored with his fifth European Research Council (ERC) grant. This recent accolade, an ERC Proof of Concept grant titled “APOLLO – Advanced Magnetic Probes for Minimally Invasive Endovascular Surgery,” highlights Professor Misra’s ongoing commitment to advancing medical technology and patient care.

Endovascular interventions, a bedrock of minimally invasive surgery (MIS), enable the nuanced treatment of cardiovascular diseases through precise incisions and the adept use of flexible instruments. Thus, these instruments facilitate a myriad of advanced surgical interventions that would otherwise remain beyond reach. Yet, to achieve remote control, these instruments depend on significantly large external magnetic fields generated outside the human body. Hence, the paramount goal of APOLLO is to meticulously design and assess a clinical-grade flexible probe capable of harnessing internally generated fields using meticulously optimized magnetic materials. This pursuit aims for an unparalleled level of precision and maneuverability. APOLLO will aptly address clinicians’ requirements, elevating the efficiency and accessibility of MIS. It stands as an indispensable clinical asset, empowering meticulous and comprehensive surgical interventions in anatomically challenging, otherwise inaccessible areas of the human body, including precise procedures in the most elusive regions. APOLLO endeavors to elevate magnetic actuation into a commercially viable technology. The APOLLO-team at SRL will work closely with clinicians and Flux Robotics B.V., a spin-off of SRL, to bring the APOLLO-technology to life. Together, they aim to blend expertise and innovation, advancing medical capabilities at the forefront of their collaborative efforts.

“Receiving a fifth ERC grant is a recognition of our team’s dedication at the Surgical Robotics Laboratory,” remarked Professor Misra. “APOLLO represents a significant step forward in endovascular surgery, offering clinicians unprecedented precision and accessibility This grant reaffirms the importance of our work and its potential impact on patients globally.”

The APOLLO project is strategically positioned to expand upon Professor Misra’s expertise in magnetically-driven robotics at both macro- and micro-scales, strategically leveraging the cutting-edge advancements in soft magnetic probe development.

Professor Misra boasts an impressive repertoire of accolades, having received numerous prestigious national and European grants, including the esteemed NWO VENI (2010) and VIDI (2015) awards, as well as securing ERC Starting (2014), Consolidator (2020), and Proof-of-Concept (2017 and 2020) grants. Professor Misra’s groundbreaking research in flexible surgical robots and futuristic micro-/nano-robots is extensively detailed at the SRL, providing an immersive exploration into these innovative fields.

ERC Proof of Concept Grant – APOLLO | Surgical Robotics LabERC Proof of Concept Grant – APOLLO | Surgical Robotics Lab
ERC Proof of Concept Grant – APOLLO | Surgical Robotics Lab