BreakThrough Study Idea

Surgical assistance robot that contributes to improvement of medical qualityNaohiko Sugita<Series 3 / complete>

Study Idea


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Surgical assistance robot under development

Even if you make a surgery assistance robot blindly, it will never make profits go up. Because it does not start unless the doctor uses it, it may be natural, but the important thing in developing a surgery support robot is that "The merit exceeds the demerit". Doctors will not be able to use it unless there is too much advantage to compensate for defects lying on the surgery assistance robot, such as setup effort, initial investment, training time, and a small number of types of surgical tools.

Ultimately, if they can not treat better than a doctor, you will not be able to expect the spread of surgical assistance robots. Therefore, manufacturing industry is challenging "Minimally invasive." "Minimally invasive" has three approaches: "Reduce the number of scratches," "Reduce the size of the wound" and "Make the place of the wound invisible." If the doctor reduces the number of injuries than doing surgery, the patient can expect various benefits such as early recovery.

A robot for surgery of knee prosthesis supports a doctor's work of scraping damaged cartilage. This work is unexpectedly tricky and sometimes puts a hand into a place that should not be trimmed. However, with this robot which can consolidate the processes of single lathe and machining center and enable complex machining such as lathe machining, milling machining, special machining, simultaneous 5-axis machining, 6-face machining, etc., it is made to be able to cut accurately and beautifully.

Application of machine tool technology to artificial joints

"I would like to provide better medical care to patients." With this kind of thought, we have been studying artificial joints. As mentioned in Part 1, the current artificial joint is not necessarily designed for each patient. I am not sure if we are in the stage of converting the design philosophy of the artificial joint itself. Surgery using artificial joints is also possible in general hospitals, so sales of artificial joints have increased with rising sharpness. However, in the artificial joint market, the momentum of foreign-affiliated manufacturers is strong and it is a regrettable situation that Japanese manufacturers can not cut down. Now that the super-aged society is progressing, we should increase the market share by creating artificial joints tailored to the skeleton of the Japanese.

The laboratory will continue to focus on the development of devices that scrape biomaterials making use of production processing and machine tool technology and will continue to contribute to the medical field. As mentioned in Part 1, we will make efforts to provide an artificial joint that secures the walking function from the musculoskeletal model. Also, we will also work on custom-made medical systems.

As shown in the figure above, surgery is seen from the knowledge of engineering systems; I understand that it is said that four functions "Preoperative planning software " "Order receiving software " "Design method and processing method" "Surgical instrument." In engineering, I think what type of artificial joint should be designed from data obtained from CT data corresponding to CAD/CAM. In recent years, it has been learned that even if only minor modifications are made to existing ones, they can compete well enough. However, the tactics of the medical device market are simple and straightforward. As explained in the 2nd time, surgical assistance robot is a harsh world that will not hit without a killer app. It is about "Da Vinci" which was sold more than 200 in Japan and more than 3,000 in the world.

In the future, the super-aged society will be further advanced, and the admiration for medical care will be increasing more and more. As "Da Vinci," if a "Robot capable of better treatment than a doctor" with a killer app appears, the quality of medical care will be dramatically increased. We will continue our "Thinking development" and continue to research so that we can develop high-quality medical equipment making full use of mechanical engineering.

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Naohiko Sugita
Professor of Graduate School of Engineering Department, University of Tokyo

Born in 1970 in Himeji city, Hyogo Prefecture. Raised in Kanazawa city, Ishikawa prefecture. He completed a master's course in the Department of Industrial Mechanical Engineering from the University of Tokyo graduate school in 1996, joined NEC Corporation and belonged to the Microwave Satellite Communications Division. In 2003 he became an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Tokyo graduate school, associate professor in 2007. He took office as a professor in 2014 to the present days. Specialty fields are production engineering, medical processing, metrology. Research fields include production processing (Cutting processing, Laser processing, Laser-assisted), machine tool (CFRP structure), medical application (Artificial joint, Bone resection device, Surgery assistance system), etc.

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