Science Robotics. ADVERTISEMENT “Our findings show that we can automate one of the most intricate and delicate tasks in surgery: the reconnection of two ends of an intestine. The STAR performed the procedure in four animals, and it produced significantly better results than humans performing the same procedure,” said senior author Axel Krieger, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Johns Hopkins’ Whiting School of Engineering.The robot performed a successful laparoscopic surgery known as intestinal anastomosis.
This intricate procedure requires top-notch precision and many repetitive movements. Arguably the most challenging step involved in abdominal surgery, connecting two intestinal ends requires consistent perfection from the surgeon. Even a slight misstep could lead to leaks that can cause disastrous side effects for the patient.
ADVERTISEMENT The researchers worked with collaborators at the Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., and Jin Kang, a Johns Hopkins professor of electrical and computer engineering. Krieger and his team helped build the robot. A vision-guided system tailored explicitly for suturing soft tissues.
It’s perfect for performing operations such as laparoscopic surgery.The current model is an improvement from an earlier 2016 design that accurately sutured a pig’s intestines. However, the robot had to make a large incision to make the sutures and needed help from humans. ADVERTISEMENT The research team enhanced the STAR with new features for better autonomy this time.
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