Harvard’s Robotically Steerable Thermal Ablation Probe Adds Extra Precision to Minimally Invasive Surgery

Harvard’s Robotically Steerable Thermal Ablation Probe Adds Extra Precision to Minimally Invasive Surgery

Robotically Steerable Probe aims at minimally invasive surgery, moves through gelatin like a champ

Robotically Steerable Thermal Ablation Probe aims at more minimally invasive surgery, moves through gelatin like a champ

Who doesn’t prefer to have the word “surgery” preceded by the phrase “minimally invasive?” During our trip to the Harvard research labs today, we were given a demo of the Robotically Steerable Thermal Ablation Probe, a device designed to help minimize the number of injections required when treating something like a tumor. The machine is guided by a x-ray image onto which a doctor can choose a number of destinations. Rather than being forced to re-inject the patient, the outer cannula moves up and down to locate the position, with a thinner curved stylet extends from within it, reaching the designated area. In order to hit subsequent spots, the stylet retracts back into the cannula, which adjusts its up and down position, extending once again to reach the area. Applications for the technology extend beyond just injection, including the possibility of extracting tissue samples from a patient.

You can check out a demo of the device doing its work after the break. But don’t worry, it’s just gelatine.

Another technology we haven’t seen before that Harvard showed off to Engadget is the X-ray guided Robotically Steerable Thermal Ablation Probe. The device is designed to reduce repositioning of the canula by integrating a retractable ablation probe within that extends from the canula and targets different spots around itself. This way the canula only moves up and down, causing less damage to tissue while being able to systematically access a large tissue region that’s being worked on.

Here’s Engadget’s video of Harvard’s team showing off the device on a block of gelatin:

 

Source : http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/04/robotically-steerable-probe-aims-at-minimally-invasive-surgery/

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