Robotic surgery platforms allow surgeons to perform complex medical procedures with greater flexibility, accuracy, and control than traditional surgery. When robotic-assisted surgery technology is available, with advances in optical technology at the heart of these robotic tools, it is the preferred way to perform complex surgical procedures to ensure improved patient outcomes.
Advantages of Robotic Surgery and Where Optics Are Used
There are myriad benefits that robotic-assisted surgery affords for the surgeon and patient. The surgeon and their team’s significant advantage is the ability to visualize internal tissue structures at high resolution and high image contrast from deep inside the body in a minimally invasive manner. Additionally, when integrated with artificial intelligence and virtual and augmented reality viewing, robotic surgery holds significant promise for significantly improving patient outcomes for various surgeries, including 3D laparoscopy.
The design and integration of advanced optics and photonics imaging technologies are truly enabling next-generation robotic surgery platforms. Technology transfer from traditional endoscopy devices has been at the forefront of recent advances in robotic surgery. Micro-optics and optical fiber technologies coupled with LED illumination and new high-resolution, small form-factor image sensors have all come together to enable a new generation of precision optical assemblies at sub-2mm diameter scales. While many optical imaging platforms use high-contrast white light imaging, advances in fluorescence image-guided surgery (FIGS) – help the surgeon identify and remove tumors or visualize blood perfusion. Advances in spectroscopic detection modalities involving two different types of Raman detection, spontaneous Raman and stimulated Raman spectroscopy, offer new opportunities to further improve tumor resection, particularly in neurosurgery applications. All these advances poise to propel robotic surgery into new applications.
Our Robotic Surgery Imaging Capabilities
At Gray Optics, we partner with our customers to solve challenging problems in the system-level design of robotic surgical platforms. Our approach encompasses a deep understanding of the exact operational specifications and requirements and the end-user experience. Specifically, our engineering expertise includes:
- Optics expertise. With our unique ability to design the complete optical path, from illumination to detection, we can readily optimize all core optical sub-systems, ensuring they work in harmony and complete prototype builds in reduced timeframes.
- Benefits for customers. We help our customers maximize light throughput and high-contrast imaging through detailed optical and mechanical modeling and system-level design
- Our process. Gray Optics’ proven New Product Development Process allows our team to collaboratively partner with our customers at any stage of the design process and aligns with ISO 13485
- Competitive advantage. Our team’s industry-leading experience includes the system-level design of complete robotic surgery platforms. This experience gives us a competitive edge when solving technical challenges and ensures our customers’ project plans stay on course.
- Agility and scalability. Our proven collaborative partnership model and New Product Development Process can meet the needs of the fast-advancing robotic surgery market. Our team works in tandem with you at every stage of the new product development process, from concept to production.
Work We’ve Done
- Robotic surgery device case study summary – A global medical device company developing a novel robotic surgical system brought the Gray Optics team on to accelerate its product development timeline. The Gray Optics team leveraged its experience in the development of custom chip-on-tip camera modules to build initial prototypes within 10 weeks.
- Problem defined – A new stereo camera module was required for a robotic surgical system with an overall diameter of less than 9mm. The development program required initial proof of concept units to be built and tested within a 12-week period.
- Solution details – Based on prior experience developing custom endoscopes, the Gray Optics team quickly developed a product specification and design concept that met the overall performance requirements. A new lens design was created in 2 weeks, enabling the procurement team to order custom optical elements from a trusted supplier. An initial build of 10 first article units was tested and shipped to the customer. Following successful evaluation by the customer, 75 additional custom endoscope modules were delivered.
- Business benefit – With prototype endoscope modules representing the performance and quality of production-grade devices, our customer was able to achieve their pre-clinical testing milestones and gained approval to advance the program into the final stages of product development. The project moved smoothly into hospital testing and rolled out an improved product iteration, which offered higher satisfaction for surgical teams and improved patient outcomes.
“We needed advanced optical design expertise outside of our company to complement our internal capabilities. We wanted assistance from a capable, agile optical engineering firm that could quickly understand our technology, perform rapid testing of multiple design approaches, and confirm our final design. We found Gray Optics to be highly responsive, competent, and easy to work with on our time sensitive project. With Gray Optics’ assistance, we were able to quickly confirm and then refine an approach to implementing this capability into our medical device. Gray Optics’ expertise and assistance was key to successfully translating this innovation into our technology.”
– CEO, GI MedTech Company
Partner With an Industry-Leading Optics Specialist
We’re proud to work with global leaders in surgical robotics and start-up companies entering the market to collaborate in our joint mission to improve and save lives through innovations in optics and photonics technology.