Innovations in surgery over the last few decades have led to tremendous improvements in the treatment of diseases and injuries. Examples include the development of minimally invasive procedures and robotic surgery, organ transplantation and regenerative cell therapies, prosthetics such as artificial joints and bionic devices, and gene therapy.
The objective of this theme is to establish a platform of multidisciplinary research projects promoting surgical technology innovation from proof-of-principle to large-scale evaluation. The research undertaken within the Surgical Innovation Theme falls broadly within the following areas:
- Robotics and Electronic Devices: research in robotics and electronic devices aims to develop improved surgical procedures, as well as prosthetic devices for replacement of diseased or injured body parts.
- Organ Reconditioning and Cell Therapies: research in organ reconditioning aims to improve the proportion of transplantable organs, and research in cell therapies explores cell transplantation and stem cell treatments for tissue regeneration.
- Gene Therapy Surgery and Nanotechnology: research in gene therapy aims to develop efficacious treatments for previously incurable genetic diseases, and research in nanotechnology explores ways to enhance the delivery of chemotherapeutic agents to body tissues and organs.
- Image-Guided Surgery: image-guided surgery explores the use of novel imaging technologies to improve surgical precision.
A robot has been used to inject a drug into the back of the eye in a world first for the next phase of a landmark clinical trial at Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital. Prof Robert MacLaren used the remotely controlled robot to administer a tiny volume of blood dissolving agent tPA under the retina to treat a haemorrhage, an accumulation of blood in the eye that causes vision loss. It is now hoped the robot can be used for other pioneering surgeries such as gene therapy, where a virus is delivered to replace missing genes that lead to loss of vision. The device has been developed by Preceyes BV, a Dutch medical robotics firm established by the University of Eindhoven, and is being trialled at the John Radcliffe by the University of Oxford. See news article