Laser microrobot makes minimally invasive surgery more precise


Minimally invasive surgery techniques have gone far over the past few decades, but they still have limitations that scientists are working to overcome. Laser micro surgery, for instance, leaves minimal peripheral tissue damage, but it can only be used on parts of the body within the laser's line of sight. Meanwhile, surgery using flexible robotics can access hard-to-reach areas, but they can damage surrounding tissue. Now, a team of robotic engineers from Harvard University's Wyss Institute have developed a way to bring their strengths together by designing a laser-steering microrobot that can be attached to a flexible surgical devices, such as colonoscopes. The team evaluated currently available laser devices and found that they're too big, don't have the range of motion needed or aren't powerful enough.

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