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3-D ultrasound scanner could guide robotic surgeries

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The researchers also have used the scanner to guide the biopsy robot toward a designated target in the gall bladder of an animal that had died. (An ultrasound video of the needle traveling toward and then precisely puncturing the animal's organ can be downloaded at http://transducers.bme.duke.edu/movies.php.)

"Once the robot takes over, it sends the needle to within about 1.5 millimeters of the center of the target," Smith said. "That's pretty good accuracy."

The 3-D ultrasound scanner also has the advantage of seeing the interior of organs, Smith said. Optical laparoscopes, in contrast, provide surgeons only a view of organs' outer surfaces.

"Two-dimensional laparoscopic ultrasound has seen increased use as a surgical aide in general, gynecological and urological procedures," Pua added. "Our results show that the application of real-time 3-D ultrasound to these surgical procedures may increase information available to the surgeon and serve as an additional guidance tool."


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Source:Duke University


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