Intuitive’s New Budget Friendly da Vinci X Robotic Surgical System Cleared in U.S.

Intuitive Surgical is following up on the European clearance from a month ago for its da Vinci X robotic surgical system with a similar clearance from the FDA. The da Vinci X is a budget friendly cousin of existing offerings from Intuitive, yet offers many of the same capabilities and is upgradeable to include various others. All of the tools, such as staplers, firefly, and vessel sealers are available on the da Vinci X, as is the same training and support that is included with the more expensive devices. The interface console that the surgeon uses to control the robot is the same as on other da Vincis and the robotic arms are mounted on a side cart, like the da Vinci Si. The arms themselves are based on the da Vinci Xi which provide a longer reach and a narrower profile. The da Vinci X also includes voice and laser guidance, just like the Xi, which helps during pre-op prep. What the da Vinci X is not meant for is multi-quadrant surgeries and procedures that require the company’s Integrated Table Motion capability. From Intuitive: The da Vinci X System enables optimized, focused-quadrant surgery including procedures like prostatectomy, partial nephrectomy, benign hysterectomy and sacrocolpopexy, among others. The System features flexible port placement and 3D digital optics, while incorporating the same advanced instruments and accessories as Intuitive’s flagship system. The new system drives operational efficiencies through set-up technology that uses voice and laser guidance, drape design that simplifies surgery prep, and a lightweight, fully integrated endoscope. “The da Vinci X System is a value-oriented option for hospitals that are just starting their...

EYEMATE Implant That Measures Intraocular Pressure Now Cleared in Europe

Patients with certain eye conditions, particularly glaucoma, need regular testing of their intraocular pressure (IOP), which involves an in-office procedure during which a clinician uses a tonometer to take readings. The IOP can vary significantly throughout the day, and similar to blood pressure, events far outside the normal range can be frequently missed. Implandata, a company out of Hannover, Germany, just won European approval to introduce its EYEMATE system for continous monitoring of intraocular pressure, even when the patient is comfortably at home. The product consists of a sensor that is implanted into the eye as part of a surgery for cataracts, glaucoma, or corneal problems, and a handheld unit that can wirelessly power the implant and download its readings. The handheld controller can immediately share the IOP gathered from the sensor with one’s doctor, avoiding any trips to the office to simply take a measurement of the IOP. Physicians can assign their patients a testing regimen, which can help identify events that are otherwise difficult to spot, and therefore aid in tuning medication prescriptions. Here’s a n Implandata video introducing the EYEMATE: Flashback: Wireless Eye Implant Continuously Measures Intraocular Pressure… Product page:...
Interview With Director of Biomaterials Research Innovation Center, Prof. Ali Kadhemhosseini

Interview With Director of Biomaterials Research Innovation Center, Prof. Ali Kadhemhosseini

The fields of tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and drug delivery are burgeoning due to the development of new technological advancements in engineering, material science, and chemistry. At the confluence of such diverse fields lies the Biomaterials Innovation Research Center. Located in the hub of Boston, in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the center is directed by Dr. Ali Kadhemhosseini. His laboratory is at the forefront of developing micro- and nano scale biomaterials to direct cellular behavior toward a final goal of advanced tissue engineering. He is particularly well known for his broad expertise in multiple technologies. His laboratory has pushed the boundaries of micro fabrication techniques, such 3D printing, photo lithography, and microfluidics, to build complex tissues that more accurately mimic organs in the body. One of the major things his laboratory aims to do is to use innovations in microengineering technology to create artificial tissues that closely mimic the architecture of native tissues. He has won several awards for his contributions to the field of biomaterials, the most recent being an award from the Society of Biomaterials. We recently had an opportunity to interview Dr. Kadhemhosseini to find out more about their work. Rukmani Sridharan, Medgadget: Congrats on your recent 2017 Clemson Award for Contributions to the Literature from the Society for Biomaterials. Where do you derive your inspiration from and who are your mentors you look up to in your field? Dr. Kadhemhosseini: I get inspiration from seeing other great people do great work.  My mentors Bob Langer and Nicholas Peppas are two great examples of this.   Medgadget:  Your recent paper outlining the liver-on-a-chip technology has...

3D Printed Pediatric Stents That Grow With Patient’s Vessels

Sadly, it is not only old people that receive cardiac stent implants. Often young children with certain cardiovascular conditions can benefit significantly from stent implantations and conduits, but because vasculature grows along with the rest of the body, the stents’ benefits can be short lived and not fully realized. Now researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology in The Netherlands have developed 3D printing technology that can generate stents that grow along with the patient’s growth, and eventually biodegrade and leave the body. The proof-of-concept research involves importing a model of an appropriate stent made of Nitinol into a computer and then simulating what that stent should be like when 3D printed from a copolyester elastomer. The simulation includes the ability for the device to expand within the vessel as the vessel increases in diameter. The final product is then printed and, while it wasn’t evaluate on humans, can then undergo a series of physical tests to evaluate its ability to hold up a vessel. Here’s video from Eindhoven University of Technology about the research and its related goals: Study in journal 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing: Computationally Designed 3D Printed Self-Expandable Polymer Stents with Biodegradation Capacity for Minimally Invasive Heart Valve Implantation: A Proof-of-Concept Study… Via: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publisher of 3D Printing and Additive...

Grasp Feedback Technology to Help Prosthetic Users Feel What They’re Holding

Prosthetic devices of the future, in order to be highly functional and easy to use, will have to incorporate sensors that can relay to the user the pressure of a hand grasp and what the texture of a touched object is like. Researchers from Rice University in Texas and University of Pisa in Italy have combined their expertise to built a prototype system that provides real-time feedback about the size of an object that a powered prosthetic hand is grasping. While the technology is currently limited to measuring and relaying an object’s size, other physical characteristics may one day be integrated to provide a more realistic representation of what is going on inside a prosthetic hand. Photo by Brandon Martin/Rice University At Rice, scientists have been developing their haptic technology for a while now, mostly relying on virtual in silico testing and simple grippers that don’t replicate a true prosthetic. The University of Pisa team, on the other hand, was looking to integrate feedback sensors into a prosthetic hand they developed, leading to a natural collaboration between the two groups. The technology relies on an arm band that has a motorized component that brushes a piece of rubber against the skin. As the prosthetic’s fingers are opened and closed, the rubber is pulled along the skin to create a stretching sensation. The extent of the stretch is proportional to how open or closed the wrist is, providing the user an immediate sense of its state. The Rice and Pisa team tested their technology on eighteen healthy individuals, showing that using the sensing system let the subjects have a much better...