EDEN2020 is an 8-partner, €8.3M Research and Innovation Action, which officially started on the 1st of April 2016 and will last for 4 years. EDEN2020 aims to develop an integrated platform for one-stop diagnosis and minimally invasive treatment in neurosurgery. Our aim is to exploit the unique track record of leading research institutions and key industrial players in the field of surgical robotics to overcome the current technological barriers that stand in the way of real clinical impact.

We aspire for EDEN2020 to provide a step change in the modelling, planning and delivery of diagnostic sensors and therapies to the brain via flexible surgical access, with an initial focus on cancer therapy. It will engineer a family of steerable catheters for chronic disease management that can be robotically deployed and kept in situ for extended periods. The system will feature enhanced autonomy, surgeon cooperation, targeting proficiency and fault tolerance with a suite of technologies that are commensurate to the unique challenges of neurosurgery. Amongst these, the system will be able to sense and perceive intraoperative, continuously deforming, brain anatomy at unmatched accuracy, precision and update rates, and deploy a range of diagnostic optical sensors to drastically improve upon today’s approach to brain disease management. By modelling and predicting drug diffusion within the brain with unprecedented fidelity, we expect that EDEN2020 will contribute to the wider clinical challenge of extending and enhancing the quality of life of cancer patients – with the ability to plan therapies around delicate tissue structures and with unparalleled delivery accuracy.

EDEN2020 is strengthened by a significant industrial presence (Renishaw plc. and XoGraph ltd.), which is embedded within the entire R&D process to enforce best practices and maximise translation and the exploitation of project outputs. The Imperial team, lead by Prof Ferdinando Rodriguez y Baena, will coordinate the project, which will be steered by a leading clinical team in Italy (Universita’ di Milano, San Raffaele and Politecnico di Milano) headed by Prof Lorenzo Bello. Additionally, the EDEN2020 consortium benefits from the involvement of leading experts in intra-operative imaging (Technical University of Munich) and shape sensing (Universitair Medisch Centrum Groningen).