News | June 14, 2007

Intuitive Surgical Inc. Signs Contract with Luna Technologies

June 15, 2007 — Officials at Luna Innovations recently announced an agreement with Intuitive Surgical Inc., the world's only maker of surgical robots.

Luna is tapping into a trend known as minimally invasive surgery, in which doctors use tiny instruments inserted through small incisions in a patient.

In more than 90 percent of cases, the procedure is done manually, and the surgeon manipulates the instruments with the aid of a tiny camera inserted into the patient.

The robotic alternative involves use of the da Vinci surgery system, made by Luna's new business partner, which lets surgeons give commands to a computer instead.

With today's da Vinci technology, the medical team sees inside the patient via a tiny camera on the tip of a fiber-optic cable. Luna's device will enhance the performance of the surgical system by providing doctors and nurses more information about where surgical tools are within a patient's body.

Luna's device uses a fiber-optic cable that includes three separate glass threads, called cores, arranged in a triangle. Along those cores are spaced tiny embedded sensors that can determine how much and where each core is bending. A computer takes that information and determines the exact location of the end of the probe.

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