Medical Robotics Magazine

The first and only commercial feature medical robotics news magazine, founded February 2007 by John J. Otrompke, JD, consultant and publisher


Medical Robotics Magazine is the world's first and only commercial feature news magazine devoted to all aspect of the medical robotics industry- including robotic surgery, physical therapy robots, hospital orderlies, and other topics related to robotic medicine. As a feature magazine, Medical Robotics features interviews, business news, conference coverage and editorials, as well as a generous portion of articles written by noteworthy robotics surgeons as well as clinical trials reports. MR has been on-line since 2007, and first appeared in print in January of 2008 at the annual meeting of MIRA (the Minimally Invasive Robotics Association) in Rome, Italy. Medical Robotics Magazine is copyrighted, features a nascent Board of Editorial Advisors, and is indexed by the U.S. Library of Congress. All contents (c) 2011 John J. Otrompke, JD Contact: John J. Otrompke, JD 646-730-0179

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

MIRA 2008: Two New Miniature Robotic Device Models Unveiled at MIRA May Lead to Even Less Invasive Robotic Surgery

By John J. Otrompke, JD

Two studies released by Dr. Marco Zenati and colleagues at MIRA 2008 offered fascinating insights into what may become two new miniature robots of the future: a highly-articulated device for epicardial injections, and miniature device called the Heartlander which can crawl on the surface of the heart.

The first device, which consists of many articulated, rigid cylindrical links, was successfully tested in animals and in a human cadaveric environment, according to the first paper, ‘An Highly-Articulated Robotic Surgical System for Minimally Invasive Epicardial Interventions,’ while the Heartlander crawled with inchworm-like locomotion on the surface of a beating animal heart. “The Heartlander is an organ-mounted robotic system, like examples we are familiar with in the field of orthopedic surgery and elsewhere,” said Zenati, a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh.

The epicardial intervention device is joystick controlled by the physician and allows the use through its ports of catheter-based instruments which are already commercially available.

With this device, epicardial ablation, pericardial biopsy, and left atrial appendage ligation, as well as pulmonary vein isolation, were all performed, without adverse events.

Devices used in conjunction with the epicardial robot included a radiofrequency ablation catheter, an endobiopsy catheter, and the EndoLoop.

With the Heartlander, which also uses a magnetic tracking system, epicardial injection, pacing-lead placement, and radiofrequency ablation were all performed.

The device requires about 10 to 15 minutes to create a real-space 3-D model of the heart by acquiring and elaborating the surface points of the organ, which otherwise would not be available without rotating the heart, Zenati said.

The Heartlander is 5 millimeters high, and equipped with an injection needle.

Studies pertaining to the Heartlander were presented in November of 2007 at the Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association, he noted.

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