Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


World's first 'smart' robotic micro-drill used in surgical operation

The world’s first truly robotic micro-drill has been used in a surgical operation in Birmingham, UK.

It does not have to be programmed or made to work from a computer operated by a human. It is smart. It just knows where to go and what to do. This has never happened in medicine before.

The surgical drilling robot was developed by Professor Peter Brett from the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Aston University and tested in surgery by Mr David Proops, Ear, Nose and Throat Consultant Surgeon at University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.

It has been tested on patients needing cochlear implants. The drill is applied to the cochlea, the inner ear hearing organ, is aligned to the correct place and then drills a hole less than a millimetre in diameter to enable the cochlear implant to be inserted.

When working with a traditional surgical drill under the microscope the drill tip will naturally perforate the surface through the inner flexible boney tissue interface of the cochlea with the inner membrane and protrude into the space. Using the robotic micro-drill, the device is able to detect the approach of the drill tip as it approaches this tissue interface. It is then able to avoid penetrating the membrane, so avoiding drilling and other debris dropping into the ear.

It is expected that this more precise means of drilling will lead to improved hearing for the patient following implantation.

It has been tested on three human patients – all with successful outcomes. It drills a perfect hole, the perfect size, in the perfect place and to a perfect depth.

The drill is currently only being used for cochlear implants, but the potentials for wider surgery applications in the future are extensive. Simply put, it will revolutionise this type of micro-surgery.

Sally Hoban | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Gentle sensors for diagnosing brain disorders
29.09.2016 | King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

nachricht New imaging technique in Alzheimer’s disease - opens up possibilities for new drug development
28.09.2016 | Lund University

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>