On robot Scientists have developed a drill that is able to perform brain surgery in two and a half minutes, a procedure that otherwise takes humans two hours from start to finish.
The team at the University of Utah were inspired by the technology available in the auto machine industry, and wanted to design a similar computer-driven drill to do the ‘heavy lifting’ on the operating table.
William Couldwell, a neurosurgeon who worked on the device, said: “We knew the technology was already available in the machine world, but no one ever applied it to medical applications.”
Cranial surgery obviously requires exceptional levels of precision, and surgeons are required to use hand drills to make intricate openings to the human skull, adding hours to a single operation.
Couldwell, said: “It was like doing archeology…we had to slowly take away the bone to avoid sensitive structures.”
And so the hardware needed to be developed to produce fast, clean, and safe cuts reducing the time the wound is open and the time that the patient has to be anathetised.
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