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Flexible robotic device for spinal surgery

Surgical robots have proliferated in recent years, with well-established benefits including: reduced patient trauma, shortened hospitalisation, and improved diagnostic accuracy and therapeutic outcome. Despite these benefits, many challenges in their development remain, including improved instrument control and ergonomics caused by rigid instrumentation and its associated fulcrum effect. Consequently, it is still extremely challenging to utilise such devices in cases that involve complex anatomical pathways such as the spinal column. The focus of this thesis is the development of a flexible robotic surgical cutting device capable of manoeuvring around the spinal column. The target application of the flexible surgical tool is the removal of cancerous tumours surrounding the spinal column, which cannot be excised completely using the straight surgical tools in use today; anterior and posterior sections of the spine must be accessible for complete tissue removal. A parallel robot platform with six degrees of freedom (6 DoFs) has been designed and fabricated to direct a flexible cutting tool to produce the necessary range of movements to reach anterior and posterior sections of the spinal column. A flexible water jet cutting system and a flexible mechanical drill, which may be assembled interchangeably with the flexible probe, have been developed and successfully tested experimentally. A model predicting the depth of cut by the water jet was developed and experimentally validated. A flexion probe that is able to guide the surgical cutting device around the spinal column has been fabricated and tested with human lumber model. Modelling and simulations show the capacity for the flexible surgical system to enable entering the posterior side of the human lumber model and bend around the vertebral body to reach the anterior side of the spinal column. A computer simulation with a full Graphical User Interface (GUI) was created and used to validate the system of inverse kinematic equations for the robot platform. The constraint controller and the inverse kinematics relations are both incorporated into the overall positional control structure of the robot, and have successfully established a haptic feedback controller for the 6 DoFs surgical probe, and effectively tested in vitro on spinal mock surgery. The flexible surgical system approached the surgery from the posterior side of the human lumber model and bend around the vertebral body to reach the anterior side of the spinal column. The flexible surgical robot removed 82% of mock cancerous tissue compared to 16% of tissue removed by the rigid tool.
Date January 2015
CreatorsMorad, Samir
ContributorsVaidyanathan, Ravi; Parker, Kim
PublisherImperial College London
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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