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Int J Med Robot. 2005 Jan;1(2):64-75.

A telerobotic haptic system for minimally invasive stereotactic neurosurgery.

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Department of Innovation in Mechanics and Management, Università di Padova, Italy.


Medical robotics and computer assisted surgery are feasible and promising applications of robotic technology, whose main goals are surgical augmentation, information enhancement and improved surgical action. Neurosurgery probably presents the most major challenges, and can considerably benefit from the introduction of computers and robots to guide surgical procedures. This paper presents an innovative master-slave haptic robotic system for minimally invasive neurosurgery, which can help surgeons overcome human shortcomings and perform more accurate, repeatable, and reliable stereotactic neurosurgery. The system, named LANS, consists of a slave mechatronic actuator and a haptic master. The slave is designed to move linearly a laser pointer, a biopsy needle or a low-energy X-ray emitter along a pre-planned axis. The tool insertion into the brain is guided by the surgeon through the haptic master which also provides force feedback to the operator. Not only can the haptic master reproduce the contact force between the surgical tool and the treated tissue, but it can also produce virtual forces aimed at assisting surgeons during the operations. Experiments have been conducted to prove the soundness and accuracy of the overall system mechanical design and to assess the effectiveness of the control schemes synthesized for the master and the slave.

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