Preceyes, a Dutch spinout company from Eindhoven University of Technology that was incorporated in 2011, has announced the successful use of the company’s surgical robotic system in the first of 12 patients undergoing treatment, led by professor Robert MacLaren at the University of Oxford.
The robotic technology is intended to improve clinical outcomes in the 1.3 million surgical procedures performed annually worldwide to treat vitreoretinal disease. Utilizing the Preceyes platform the system’s creators also hope to open-up innovative drug and gene therapy treatment options for the estimated 50-75 million people suffering with retinal disease induced visual impairment.
Conventional vitreoretinal surgical procedures require ultra-precise manual movements of surgical equipment within the eye at the sub-millimeter scale, often risking hemorrhage or retinal damage. The Preceyes system integrates robotic control of these surgical instruments at the operating table, while keeping the surgeon in constant contact with the patient throughout the procedure.
The surgical system improves performance by downscaling hand movements and filtering-out any operator unsteadiness or tremor. This gives the surgeon a unique level of precision, down to the scale of a human hair, and allows for the possibility of performing procedures that were previously impossible.
The Preceyes system also allows for an instrument’s position to be fixed while the interventionist alters their grip or prepares the patient for targeted drug delivery. This position “freezing” function is particularly important for the emerging field of retinal gene therapy, which has hopes of reversing blindness, as stem cells may be precisely injected over a number of minutes.
The Preceyes team plans to launch the surgical system with a targeted market entrance in late 2018.
Here’s a company video explaining the workings of the Preceyes surgical system:
Link: Preceyes homepage…