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Müller G. Urias, Niravkumar Patel, Ali Ebrahimi, Iulian Iordachita, Peter L. Gehlbach; Robotic Retinal Surgery Impacts on Scleral Forces: In Vivo Study. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2020;9(10):2. https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.9.10.2.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
This study aims to map force interaction between instrument and sclera of in vivo rabbits during retinal procedures, and verify if a robotic active force control could prevent unwanted increase of forces on the sclera.
Experiments consisted in the performance of intraocular movements of a force sensing instrument, adjacent to the retinal surface, in radial directions, from the center to the periphery and back, and compared manual manipulations with robotic assistance and also robotic assistance with an active force control. This protocol was approved by the Animal Use and Ethical Committee and experiments were according to ARVO Statement of Animal Use.
Mean forces using manual manipulations were 115 ± 51 mN. Using robotic assistance, mean forces were 118 ± 49 mN. Using an active force control method, overall mean forces reduced to 69 ± 15, with a statistical difference compared with other methods (P < 0.001). Comparing intraocular directions, superior sector required higher forces and the force control method reduced differences in forces between users and retained the same force pattern between them.
Results validate that the introduction of robotic assistance might increase the dynamic interactions between instrument and sclera, and the addition of an active force control method reduces the forces at levels lower than manual manipulations.
All marketing benefits from extreme accuracy and stability from robots, however, redundancy of safety mechanisms during intraocular manipulations, especially on force control and surgical awareness, would allow all utility of robotic assistance in ophthalmology.
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