OCT system (Credit: Cheol Song, Johns Hopkins University)

Cyborg surgeon: new surgical tool enables superhuman precision

September 28, 2012

By harnessing a specialized optical fiber sensor, a new “smart” surgical tool can compensate for a surgeon’s imperceptible hand tremor by making hundreds of precise position corrections each second — fast enough to keep the surgeon’s hand on target.

Even the most skilled and steady surgeons experience minute, almost imperceptible hand tremors when performing delicate tasks. Normally, these tiny motions are inconsequential, but for doctors specializing in fine-scale surgery, such as operating inside the human eye or repairing microscopic nerve fibers, freehand tremors can pose a serious risk for patients.

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine have combined Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) imaging as a distance sensor with computer-controlled piezoelectric motors to actively stabilize the tip of a surgical tool.

Read more: Cyborg surgeon: new surgical tool enables superhuman precision | KurzweilAI

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