Experts build crab-like robot to remove stomach cancer

Researchers from Singapore have developed a small robot designed to remove stomach cancer in its early stages. The mini robot resembles a crab, because it incorporates a pincer and a hook to do the job. The robot is mounted on an endoscope which reaches the stomach via the patient’s mouth. Next to its size, another advantage of the robot is that it doesn’t leave an external scar.Robot Removes Stomach Cancer

The crab-like robot has a pincer to grab the tissue to be removed, and the hook can cut the tissue and cauterize it to stop the bleeding. The operating surgeon can see what’s happening through the little camera in the endoscope and control the robot’s movements. These movements are very precise and accurate compared to movements made directly with human hands.

A fun fact is that inventors Lawrence Ho and Louis Phee got the idea for this robot after having a seafood dinner in Singapore with Hong Kong surgeon Sydney Chung, where he noted that crabs are very good at grabbing and cutting maneuvers. The robot has already been used to remove early-stage stomach cancer in as many as five patients in India and Hong Kong. These operations took much less time than conventional open and keyhole surgerie, nonetheless, the researchers think it will be another three years before the crab robot will become commercially available.

Mounted on an endoscope, it enters the patient’s gut through the mouth. It has a pincer to hold cancerous tissues, and a hook that slices them off and coagulates blood to stop bleeding.

With the help of a tiny camera attached to the endoscope, the surgeon sees what’s inside the gut and controls the robotic arms remotely while sitting in front of a monitor screen.

“Our movements are very huge and if you want to make very fine movements, your hands will tremble … But robots can execute very fine movements without trembling,” said enterologist Lawrence Ho, who helped design the robot.

Professor Ho, who works at Singapore’s National University Hospital, said the robot helped remove early-stage stomach cancers in five patients in India and Hong Kong, using a fraction of the time normally taken in open and keyhole surgeries that put patients at higher risk of infection and leave behind scars.

Stomach, or gastric, cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide and is particularly common in east Asia. Diagnosis of gastric cancer usually occurs at a late stage of the disease when treatment is difficult and often unsuccessful.

Louis Phee, associate professor at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological Institute’s school of mechanical and aerospace engineering, helped design the robot with Ho.

They developed the robot after a seafood dinner in Singapore in 2004 with top Hong Kong surgeon Sydney Chung, who suggested they fashioned their device after the crab. Chung is best known for fighting SARS in Hong Kong in 2003.

“He (Chung) suggested we used the crab as a prototype. The crab can pick up sand and its pincers are very strong,” said Ho.

“Many things are a certain way because they have evolved and adapted to certain functions … we created something that followed the human anatomy and borrowed ideas from nature and incorporated the two.”

The researchers formed a company last October and hope to make the robot commercially available in three years.

Source:http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/01/us-cancer-singapore-robot-idUSTRE81009020120201

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    Nowadays Technology develops more and more. This example of robot shows that. Robot removes stomach cancer in it’s early stage. So it is one of the greatest invention of man.

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    In early stage it is possible to remove cancer so those who are diagnosed in the early stage they can start their treatment.

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