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Robots for minimally invasive surgery: the importance of targeting

Monday January 25, 2016 10:50 – 11:40 Arianna Menciassi, SSSA, Pisa, Italy

Robotic manipulators have been introduced for the first time in surgery in 1985, when a Puma 560 was used by Kwoh et al. for performing neurosurgical biopsies with high precision. After that milestone, robots and robotic technologies have gained an increasingly important role in surgery, thanks to the accuracy and repeatability they could add to surgical tasks. The introduction of robots in surgical rooms have also entailed important issues in terms of cost, safety, reliability, which are lively debated even today. From the original task of increasing accuracy and repeatability, robots today are asked to do more: they should be un-intrusive and flexible in terms of sharing control with human operators, they should perform better some tasks and they should reach areas normally not reachable by traditional surgical solutions.

The quest for miniaturization and natural access led to the development of diagnostic and surgical tools to be delivered with an endoluminal and transluminal approach, and to be controlled by innovative remote operation schemes from outside.

The quest for targeted therapy has recently opened new opportunities for robots, which are be used more and more as controllers for the delivery of drugs collected by nanobiotech vectors.

The quest for minimally invasiveness led to medical robots used for positioning laser, radiotherapy, ultrasound, magnetic sources externally to the patient body, and able to target the key organs with the help of advanced, real-time imaging tools.

This talk aims to present the above mentioned trends, with the support of specific examples coming from the speaker experience and her collaboration network.