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Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 29, Issue 11, pp 3349–3355 | Cite as

Evaluation of a novel flexible snake robot for endoluminal surgery

  • Nisha Patel
  • Carlo A. Seneci
  • Jianzhong Shang
  • Konrad Leibrandt
  • Guang-Zhong Yang
  • Ara Darzi
  • Julian Teare
Endoluminal Surgery

Abstract

Background

Endoluminal therapeutic procedures such as endoscopic submucosal dissection are increasingly attractive given the shift in surgical paradigm towards minimally invasive surgery. This novel three-channel articulated robot was developed to overcome the limitations of the flexible endoscope which poses a number of challenges to endoluminal surgery. The device enables enhanced movement in a restricted workspace, with improved range of motion and with the accuracy required for endoluminal surgery.

Objective

To evaluate a novel flexible robot for therapeutic endoluminal surgery.

Design

Bench-top studies.

Setting

Research laboratory.

Intervention

Targeting and navigation tasks of the robot were performed to explore the range of motion and retroflexion capabilities. Complex endoluminal tasks such as endoscopic mucosal resection were also simulated.

Main outcome measurements

Successful completion, accuracy and time to perform the bench-top tasks were the main outcome measures.

Results

The robot ranges of movement, retroflexion and navigation capabilities were demonstrated. The device showed significantly greater accuracy of targeting in a retroflexed position compared to a conventional endoscope.

Limitations

Bench-top study and small study sample.

Conclusions

We were able to demonstrate a number of simulated endoscopy tasks such as navigation, targeting, snaring and retroflexion. The improved accuracy of targeting whilst in a difficult configuration is extremely promising and may facilitate endoluminal surgery which has been notoriously challenging with a conventional endoscope.

Keywords

Colorectal cancer GI cancer Gut Technical endoscopy General endoscopy Therapeutic/Palliation endoscopy 

Abbreviations

ESD

Endoscopic submucosal dissection

GOJ

Gastro-oesophageal junction

DoF

Degrees of freedom

Notes

Acknowledgments

This project was funded by a Wellcome Trust grant (P13145).

Disclosures

Dr Nisha Patel, Mr Carlo A Seneci, Dr Jianzhong Shang, Konrad Leibrandt, Professor Guang-Zhong Yang, Professor Lord Ara Darzi of Denham and Professor Julian Teare have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nisha Patel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Carlo A. Seneci
    • 1
  • Jianzhong Shang
    • 1
  • Konrad Leibrandt
    • 1
  • Guang-Zhong Yang
    • 1
  • Ara Darzi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Julian Teare
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.The Hamlyn Centre, Institute of Global Health Innovation, St. Mary’s HospitalImperial College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Surgery and Cancer, St. Mary’s HospitalImperial College LondonLondonUK

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