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.
Model has been developed and demonstrated using porcine eyes.
Robotic surgery, cataract removal, optimal coherence tomography, remote center of motion, intraocular robotic surgical platform