Laser-Assisted Intraocular Surgical Alignment

Tech ID: 28986 / UC Case 2017-500-0


UCLA researchers in the department of Mechanical Engineering have developed an automated procedure for aligning a remote center of motion to a surgical incision point for robot-assisted surgeries.


Robotic surgery offers a precise and often less-invasive method of performing surgical procedures, with the market for surgical robots expected to grow to $5.4 billion by 2021. In particularly sensitive procedures such as intraocular surgeries, robotic instruments must be constrained at a remote center of motion (RCM) to minimize stress at the entry point. However, this requires alignment of the RCM to the surgeon-assigned incision point. Conventional approaches for alignment require positioning the desired tool at the RCM, and subsequent re-alignment of the tooltip to the incision point, necessitating physical contact between the tool and the patient during the alignment. Methods for automated tool alignment have been developed, but many still require lengthy or computationally-extensive calibration procedures.


UCLA researchers have developed an automated method to align a remote center of motion (RCM) to a surgically relevant point for robot-assisted surgeries. To assign the RCM, two lasers are mounted on the desired surgical instrument carriage with the RCM as their point of intersection. This intersection point can then be aligned to the desired incision site by combining control of the stage with computerized visual feedback. This automated alignment procedure takes less than two minutes per surgery and requires no physical contact with the patient. Positional accuracy of the alignment technique was within 0.6 mm.


  • Minimally invasive microsurgery
  • Applications that require calibration of a remote center of motion


  • No physical contact with patient required
  • Fast alignment procedure of less than 2 minutes per surgery
  • Positional accuracy within 0.6 mm
  • One-time calibration for setup of the laser mount

State Of Development

Prototype developed and demonstrated in surgery on porcine eyes on multiple surgical procedures, including cataract removal.

Related Materials

  • Wilson JT, Gerber MJ, Prince SW, et al. Intraocular robotic interventional surgical system (IRISS): Mechanical design, evaluation, and master-slave manipulation. Int J Med Robotics Comput Assist Surg. 2017;e1842.

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
Patent Cooperation Treaty Reference for National Filings WO2018157078A1 08/30/2018 2017-500

Patent Pending


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  • Tsao, Tsu-Chin

Other Information


RCM alignment; robot surgery; laser alignment

Categorized As