Flexible endoscopy has emerged as a technique not only to inspect gastrointestinal (GI) disorders but also to provide therapeutic management to early GI cancers and other digestive diseases. This project aims to develop a high maneuverability dual-arm endoscopic surgical robotic platform for digestive diseases, which enables surgeons to perform sophisticated surgical procedures with high accuracy and thus increases surgical safety and success rate. Surgical procedures can be performed by introducing flexible robotic manipulators through the working channel of an endoscope to reach the site of interest without the need for creating an opening in the patients' body, greatly reducing the pain and speeding up recovery.
The two flexible robotic manipulators include a lifter and a dissector for tissue retraction and tissue dissection respectively. Comparing to conventional procedures, this platform creates triangulation between different tools for more working space, creates more tissue tension for effective dissection, and decouples camera motion for a stable point of view. This platform had been tested to perform Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection (ESD) in the live porcine models. There were no bleeding and no perforation in all trials. The operation time was reduced by 2-3 times, comparing to using conventional tools.
This endoscopic surgical robotic platform was awarded as Gold Medal with Congratulations of the Jury in the 47th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva 2019 and Gold Award in EMedic Global 2016.