Scientists of the London-based Imperial College designed a device that will allow to achieve a revolutionary breakthrough in surgery, the BBC reports. The flexible device called i-Snake will let doctors conduct complicated procedures that used to be performed by means of surgical operations only. About 2.1 million pounds sterling ($4.2 million) have been assigned for the research.
The device looks like a long flexible pipe equipped with tiniest motors and sensors which transmit the signal to the monitor. The system can be successfully used in cardio-vascular surgery, in diagnosing various illnesses of the gastrointestinal tract, etc. The device minimizes the need in surgery per se: it virtually replaces surgeon’s hands and eyes.
The minimum of surgery has its obvious advantages: no scars and much quicker recovery. The team of scientists will initially test the robot in the laboratory before making it a part of modern-day medicine.
"The unrivalled imaging and sensing capabilities coupled with the accessibility and sensitivity of i-Snake will enable more complex diagnostic and therapeutic procedures than are currently possible. The cost benefits that i-Snake will introduce include earlier, cheaper and less invasive treatment, faster recovery and procedure times and intangible benefits through an increase in patient care and quality of life, Lord Ara Darzi, health minister and surgeon said.
Using technology from the aerospace industry, i-Snake will incorporate state-of-the-art imaging, pressure and navigational sensors that will allow it to carry out more complex procedures. It could be used to cut out small tumours in the treatment of bowel cancer.