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Proceedings Paper

Tissue modification with feedback: the smart scalpel
Author(s): Elizabeth L. Sebern; Colin J. H. Brenan; R. Rox Anderson; Ian Warwick Hunter
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Paper Abstract

While feedback control is widespread throughout many engineering fields, there are almost no examples of surgical instruments that utilize a real-time detection and intervention strategy. This concept of closed loop feedback can be applied to the development of autonomous or semi- autonomous minimally invasive robotic surgical systems for efficient excision or modification of diseased tissue. Spatially localized regions of the tissue are first probed to distinguish pathological from healthy tissue based on differences in histochemical and morphological properties. Energy is directed to only the diseased tissue, minimizing collateral damage by leaving the adjacent healthy tissue intact. Continuous monitoring determines treatment effectiveness and, if needed, enables real-time treatment modifications to produce optimal therapeutic outcomes. The present embodiment of this general concept is a microsurgical instrument we call the Smart Scalpel, designed to treat skin angiodysplasias such as port wine stains. Other potential Smart Scalpel applications include psoriasis treatment and early skin cancer detection and intervention.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 October 1998
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3519, Microrobotics and Micromanipulation, (5 October 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.325744
Show Author Affiliations
Elizabeth L. Sebern, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Colin J. H. Brenan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
R. Rox Anderson, Wellman Labs. of Photomedicine/Massachusetts General Hospital (United States)
Ian Warwick Hunter, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3519:
Microrobotics and Micromanipulation
Armin Sulzmann; Bradley J. Nelson, Editor(s)

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