UCLA researchers from the Department of Mechanical Engineering have developed a rapid, precise, and repeatable tool exchange mechanism for intraocular surgical procedures. This mechanism reduces surgery time, undesirable surgical tool movements, complications, and recovery time.
Treatments for intraocular conditions often require precise and accurate microsurgical procedures. Due to the delicate nature of the eye, as well as the procedures, these minimally invasive operations are typically time consuming. They could result in complications due to undesirable movements and placements of surgical tools. These procedures are also multistep processes that require several tools but have limited entry sites (at most three). Therefore, rapid, precise, and accurate placements and exchange of surgical tools can provide benefits of reducing surgery time and complications.
Researchers at UCLA have developed a rapid and precise tool exchange mechanism to improve intraocular procedures that is compatible with any intraocular surgery platform. The system consists of a series of tool mounts for receiving surgical instruments, a set of tool collars for universal fitting and a tool-constraint element that secures the tools while also allowing for low force tool removal. This system is also equipped with a rotational and a translational actuation method that drives the rotational and translational motions of the surgical instrument. This setup allows fast, precise, and repeatable tool exchange during surgery. The locking mechanism allows for a single tool to be precisely placed into mounts at the exact same location repeatedly, which dramatically cuts down time spent in tool alignment during surgery. The small form factor of this tool exchange system also enables space to accommodate surgical tubing and wiring, diminishing obstructions between stationary and moving components during surgery.
Intraocular surgeries, robotic platform, minimally invasive surgery, surgical tool exchange, surgical tool mounts, surgical tool alignment