Navigation Links
First steps toward autonomous robot surgeries
Date:5/6/2008

DURHAM, N.C. The day may be getting a little closer when robots will perform surgery on patients in dangerous situations or in remote locations, such as on the battlefield or in space, with minimal human guidance.

Engineers at Duke University believe that the results of feasibility studies conducted in their laboratory represent the first concrete steps toward achieving this space age vision of the future. Also, on a more immediate level, the technology developed by the engineers could make certain contemporary medical procedures safer for patients, they said.

For their experiments, the engineers started with a rudimentary tabletop robot whose eyes used a novel 3-D ultrasound technology developed in the Duke laboratories. An artificial intelligence program served as the robots brain by taking real-time 3-D information, processing it, and giving the robot specific commands to perform.

In a number of tasks, the computer was able to direct the robot's actions, said Stephen Smith, director of the Duke University Ultrasound Transducer Group and senior member of the research team. We believe that this is the first proof-of-concept for this approach. Given that we achieved these early results with a rudimentary robot and a basic artificial intelligence program, the technology will advance to the point where robots without the guidance of the doctor can someday operate on people.

The results of a series of experiments on the robot system directing catheters inside synthetic blood vessels was published online in the journal IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control. A second study, published in April in the journal Ultrasonic Imaging, demonstrated that the autonomous robot system could successfully perform a simulated needle biopsy.

Advances in ultrasound technology have made these latest experiments possible, the researchers said, by generating detailed, 3-D moving images in real-time.

The Duke laboratory has a long track record of modifying traditional 2-D ultrasound like that used to image babies in utero into the more advanced 3-D scans. After inventing the technique in 1991, the team also has shown its utility in developing specialized catheters and endoscopes for real-time imaging of blood vessels in the heart and brain.

In the latest experiment, the robot successfully performed its main task: directing a needle on the end of the robotic arm to touch the tip of another needle within a blood vessel graft. The robots needle was guided by a tiny 3-D ultrasound transducer, the wand that collects the 3-D images, attached to a catheter commonly used in angioplasty procedures.

The robot was able to accurately direct needle probes to target needles based on the information sent by the catheter transducer, said John Whitman, a senior engineering student in Smiths laboratory and first author on both papers. The ability of the robot to guide a probe within a vascular graft is a first step toward further testing the system in animal models.

While the research will continue to refine the ability of robots to perform independent procedures, the new technology could also have more direct and immediate applications.

Currently, cardiologists doing catheter-based procedures use fluoroscopy, which employs radiation, to guide their actions, Smith said. Putting a 3-D ultrasound transducer on the end of the catheter could provide clearer images to the physician and greatly reduce the need for patients to be exposed to radiation.

In the earlier experiments, the tabletop robot arm successfully touched a needle on the arm to another needle in a water bath. Then it performed a simulated biopsy of a cyst, fashioned out of a liquid-filled balloon in a medium designed to simulate tissue.

These experiments demonstrated the feasibility of autonomous robots accomplishing simulated tasks under the guidance of 3-D ultrasound, and we believe that it warrants additional study, Whitman said.

The researchers said that adding this 3-D capability to more powerful and sophisticated surgical robots already in use at many hospitals could hasten the development of autonomous robots that could perform complex procedures on humans.


'/>"/>

Contact: Richard Merritt
richard.merritt@duke.edu
919-660-8414
Duke University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. HCA Reports First Quarter 2008 Results
2. Triple-S Management Corporation Reports First Quarter 2008 Results; Cites Growth Resulting From Strong Market Position
3. Rigel Announces First Quarter 2008 Financial Results
4. Stereotaxis Reports Record First Quarter Orders
5. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals Reports First Quarter 2008 Financial Results
6. Cogdell Spencer Inc. Reports First Quarter 2008 Financial Results
7. drugstore.com inc. Reports Results for the First Quarter of 2008
8. BELLUS HEALTH reports results for first quarter of fiscal 2008
9. Healthcare Realty Trust Announces First Quarter Results
10. Par Pharmaceutical to Host First Quarter 2008 Earnings Conference Call on May 9 at 9:00 AM
11. HealthMedia(R) Explosive Growth Continues in First Quarter 2008
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/26/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2017 , ... ... met this week to review more than eighty-nine grant submissions all vying ... emerging young scientists in the Parkinson’s field.     , The American Parkinson Disease Association ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... 2017 , ... A new analysis of community health data reveals that four ... the Midwest. With the average cost of healthcare rising and the U.S. senior population ... quality and affordability of where they live. An annual 2017 report looked at a ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... 26, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of ... on the Peace Agreements being discussed by President Donald Trump and the rest of ... try to speed up peace talks in the continuous battle between Israel and Palestine. ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... 2017 , ... “THE FLINTHILLS FAMILY-Our Journey to the Cross”: the personal journey of Bob Massey ... the creation of published authors, Bob and Margaret Massey. Bob Massey is small in ... quick and leather tough." His love for others is apparent in all of his ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... ... CEO Mary Ellen, hospital employees, and town officials to celebrate the grand opening ... was developed by Rendina as part of its ongoing relationship with RWJBarnabas Health, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/10/2017)... -- Global Health Intelligence (GHI), the leading healthcare ... published its 2017 ranking of the Best-Equipped Hospitals in ... analysis from GHI,s hospitals database for Latin America , ... The GHI database covers 86% of the hospitals in ... points for each institution in key areas such as beds, ...
(Date:5/9/2017)... WARSAW, Ind. , May 9, 2017 ... global leader in musculoskeletal healthcare, today announced it has ... Large Employers of 2017" list. The Company was ranked ... categories of Large Employers and Healthcare Equipment and Services. ... U.S. employers based on an anonymous, independent survey of ...
(Date:5/8/2017)... -- MACRA replaces the outdated sustainable growth rate ... Black Book Research crowdsource-surveyed 8,845 physician practices from February ... for MIPS Compliance Technology is Booming ... or more clinicians seek to buy Merit-Based Incentive Payment ... of the changes, the hunt is on for the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: