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Home Industry News Robotic surgery device operates inside eye for first time ever

Robotic surgery device operates inside eye for first time ever

13th September 2016

A groundbreaking robotic surgery device has been used to operate inside the human eye to restore sight for the first time.

The Preceyes surgical robot was developed by a Dutch company spun out from the Eindhoven University of Technology and has been successfully used by a team at Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital to remove a membrane from a patient's eye, reports BBC News.

Creating the microscopic system required its complex engineering to be miniaturised to a tiny scale. Surgeons use a joystick and touchscreen to guide a thin needle into the eye, while monitoring progress through a microscope.

The robot itself, meanwhile, acts like a mechanical hand and is operated by seven motors. It is able to filter out hand tremors from the surgeon, with large movements of the control mechanism translating to tiny movements by the robot.

Using this technology, the team was able to remove a membrane one hundredth of a millimetre thick from a patient, who is now recovering successfully. Further trials will now be conducted to see if it is suitable for use in routine practice.

Professor Robert MacLaren from the University of Oxford said: "We can certainly improve on current operations, but I hope the robot will allow us to do new more complex and delicate operations that are impossible with the human hand."

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