Acrobot Company Ltd, a spin-off of Imperial College London has secured £2.6 million ($5.3 million) in B round financing, led by the London Technology Fund, PUK Ventures, and Imperial Innovations Group, according to a press release. As we have reported before, the company is developing a robotic-assisted partial knee replacement surgical procedure that utilizes the company’s two main products: a surgical planning software, and a robotic arm, the Acrobot® Active Constraint System. The company believes that its product is distinguishable from other surgical navigation systems because “it provides tooling for soft tissue management and it enables a minimally-invasive surgical approach.”
More about the technology:
Acrobot® is an acronym for Active Constraint Robot. The first two letters also relate to the concept of accuracy. We use the expression Active Constraint to describe the materialisation of a control technology applied to a motorised programmable device. A tool mounted on the device is confined, by hardware and software, to a certain volume in space. The device does not move autonomously, although it could be programmed to do so; it reacts to the actions of the surgeon holding a handle attached to the device. It aids motion, if the surgeon is moving the tool inside an allowed spatial volume; it prevents motion outside this volume.
The technology has been successfully proven in clinic. A first series of clinical trials, involving 7 TKRs, took place in 2002. The proof of concept was fully established with an MHRA-approved prospective, randomised, double blind (patient and assessor), comparative clinical investigation which was successfully carried out during 2004. During the study, 13 unicompartmental knee replacements were carried out with the aid of the Acrobot® system, and 15 were performed conventionally. The study demonstrated that the Acrobot® system consistently and accurately enables the positioning of a prosthetic implant according to a surgical plan. 13 out of 13 Acrobot® cases were implanted within 2° of a desired orientation. Only 6 out of 15 conventional cases were implanted with this accuracy, with the worst case showing a deviation of 4.2° from the planned position.
One additional benefit derived from the study is that we have developed a methodology, based on very low dose CT scans, which enables accurate and quantitative measurement of surgical outcomes providing hard clinical data.