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Monday, October 01, 2007

Mini-Israeli Robot Provides "GPS" For The Brain?

(Image Credit: Learning Resources)

It looks like medical researchers from Israel have developed a mini-robot that will not only help doctors operating on the human mind (a VERY delicate procedure) know exactly where they are within their patients brain.

(Israel 21st Century) The robot itself (encased in a sterile blue plastic wrap) weighs in at only 230 grams. For keyhole surgery of the skull, it was fitted with a rigid arm (150 grams) that can guide a needle, probe or catheter to the exact spot that the surgeon wants to target.

Targeting is the key word here, Joskowicz told ISRAEL21c. "Most neurosurgical gestures involve targeting. Every millimeter counts, because you work close to nerve roots. You can compare the novel neuro-surgical robot to a GPS. We invented a method to superimpose an MRI or CT image of the patient's brain over an image of the current surgical situation.

According to the article, a simple 2 millimeter mistake by a doctor could result in a patient losing their eyesight, memory, the ability to move their body or even death.

Having this robot tag along will give doctors an extra set of eyes, which should make it easier for them to treat their patients without the worry of getting sued for "minor mistakes."

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