Microscopic robot used to perform surgery inside the eye

13 September 2016

Scientists have developed a groundbreaking surgical robot that is able to perform operations inside the eye.

The Preceyes surgical robot was developed by a Dutch company and allows the surgeon to use a joystick and touchscreen to guide a thin needle into the eye, monitoring progress through a microscope while operating a mechanical hand powered by seven motors.

The technology has shown the ability to filter out hand tremors from the surgeon, with large movements of the joystick resulting in tiny movements of the robot itself. This could allow much more complex eye surgery than is currently possible with the human hand to be performed.

A hospital in Oxford has been trialling the technology and used it to successfully remove a membrane one hundredth of a millimetre thick from the eyeball of a patient, reports BBC News.

Professor Robert MacLaren from the University of Oxford, who led the procedure, said: "There is no doubt in my mind that we have just witnessed a vision of eye surgery in the future."

With further research, it could be developed into a fully-automated office-based system, with only the robot touching the eye, to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

Posted by Edward Bartel

 


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