Friday, October 28, 2005

Tiny Robots Climb Inside for Surgery

by Karen Burbach and Tom O'Connor, UNMC public affairs

Medical responders of the future may be three inches tall or less.

But, these tiny-wheeled robots – slipped into the abdomen and controlled by surgeons hundreds of kilometers away – may be giants in saving the lives of roadside accident victims and soldiers injured on the battlefield.
Each camera-carrying robot -- the width of a lipstick case -- would illuminate the patient’s abdomen, beam back video images and carry different tools to help surgeons stop internal bleeding by clamping, clotting or cauterizing wounds.

Physicians and engineers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and University of Nebraska-Lincoln already are turning a handful of miniature prototypes.
“We want to be the Microsoft leader in this technology and be the state that changes the way surgery is done,” said Shane Farritor, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering in UNL’s College of Engineering and Technology.
“This work has the potential to completely change the minimally invasive surgery landscape,” said Dmitry Oleynikov, M.D., director of education and training for the minimally invasive and computer-assisted surgery initiative. “This is just the start of things to come regarding robotic devices at work inside the body during surgery.”

University of Nebraska Press Release


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