System And Method For Automated Image Guided Robotic Intraocular Surgery

Tech ID: 29436 / UC Case 2018-214-0


UCLA researchers in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Ophthalmology have developed a system and method for automated optical surgery.


More than 3.5 million cataract surgeries are performed every year in the United States, with the market estimated at over $7 billion in 2016. While many surgical steps of cataract surgery have been partially or fully automated, the critical step of cataract lens extraction remains a manual operation. This step is also associated with the most common complications of cataract surgery, which are incomplete lens removal and a tear in the capsule holding the new artificial lens. Automation of lens removal using visualization tools and allowing for real-time surgeon feedback would decrease these complications and significantly improve cataract outcomes.


Professor Tsao and coworkers have developed a robotic surgical platform that incorporates optical tomography for autonomous cataract removal. Highly accurate 3D models are generated and used to automate cataract lens removal, with real-time monitoring and potential intervention by a supervising surgeon. Evaluation of progress can be achieved at regular intervals to ensure complete cataract removal and robot-guided motion prevents inadvertent contact of the tool tip to the artificial lens capsule, minimizing the most common surgical complications.


  • Automated cataract removal


  • Automated surgical lens extraction only requires review and adjustment from surgeon 
  • Real-time monitoring allows for assessment of lens removal 
  • Robot-guided motion prevents inadvertent contact of tool to new artificial lens 
  • Optical tomography is a non-contact and precise 3D imaging tool

State Of Development

Model has been developed and demonstrated using porcine eyes.

Patent Status

Patent Pending

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  • Tsao, Tsu-Chin

Other Information


Robotic surgery, cataract removal, optimal coherence tomography, remote center of motion, intraocular robotic surgical platform

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