Device performs robot and laser assisted cutting of bone

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Advanced Osteotomy Tools – AOT – has announced the first-in-man clinical use of the ‘Cold Ablation Robot-guided Laser Osteotome’ (Carlo) has been used at the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery at University Hospital Basel.

Carlo was utilised during the performance of a midface-osteotomy. The cutting of human bone was performed with a robotic laser osteotome instead of conventional tools, such as saws, drills or fraises.

Cyrill Bätscher, CEO of AOT, said: “We are thrilled to have reached first-in-man clinical use of Carlo. The device allows contactless robotic surgery for the first time, which is made possible by our laser technology. From the initial phase of robotic surgery in the 1990s, we have learned that haptics was playing a crucial role with regards to patient safety.

“We anticipate significant clinical interest for this innovative platform once cleared for commercial distribution in the upcoming months.”

The device provides an approach to automatically and accurately perform osteotomies according to pre-planned cut lines via cold photoablation and a digital workflow. The goal of the current first-in-man study is to demonstrate the performance and safety of Carlo in a clinical context. The three hospitals participating in the study are the University Hospital Basel, the Kantonsspital Aarau, and the Vienna General Hospital (AKH Wien).

Professor Philipp Jürgens, cranio- and maxillofacial surgeon at the University Hospital Basel and co-founder of AOT, said: “Although the laser itself is not sensitive, Carlo can be stopped with the speed of light and easily removed should anything unforeseen happen, which is something that is not possible with today’s conventional robot-assisted devices.”

The device has undergone an extensive phase of development, design evolution, and testing. Moreover, the performance and safety have been satisfactorily validated in several preclinical studies. It was proven that the bone healing process is faster and the ability to perform freely-defined cutting patterns is allowing for new and gentler surgical techniques. Furthermore, the laser is universal; in principal it can be used to cut bone from head to toe.

Dr. Erich Platzer, chairman of the AOT Board, said: “Digitalisation has also found its way into the operating theatre. The contactless Carlo laser technology makes it possible to completely digitise the entire patient journey. Moreover, there are no longer mechanical elements involved that deform under load.”

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