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Vision and Task Assistance Using Modular Wireless In Vivo Surgical Robots

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3 Author(s)
Platt, S.R. ; Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE ; Hawks, J.A. ; Rentschler, M.E.

Minimally invasive abdominal surgery (laparoscopy) results in superior patient outcomes compared to conventional open surgery. However, the difficulty of manipulating traditional laparoscopic tools from outside the body of the patient generally limits these benefits to patients undergoing relatively low complexity procedures. The use of tools that fit entirely inside the peritoneal cavity represents a novel approach to laparoscopic surgery. Our previous work demonstrated that miniature mobile and fixed-based in vivo robots using tethers for power and data transmission can successfully operate within the abdominal cavity. This paper describes the development of a modular wireless mobile platform for in vivo sensing and manipulation applications. Design details and results of ex vivo and in vivo tests of robots with biopsy grasper, staple/clamp, video, and physiological sensor payloads are presented. These types of self-contained surgical devices are significantly more transportable and lower in cost than current robotic surgical assistants. They could ultimately be carried and deployed by nonmedical personnel at the site of an injury to allow a remotely located surgeon to provide critical first response medical intervention irrespective of the location of the patient.

Published in:

Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:56 ,  Issue: 6 )

Date of Publication:

June 2009

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