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Surgeons can now use a new type of mechanical arm to help perform minimally invasive procedures


Surgeons can now use a new type of mechanical arm to help perform minimally invasive procedures, known as laparoscopic surgery, thanks to engineers funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The handheld tool is based on fundamental research and is being commercialized by small business FlexDex Surgical. The startup also has seed money from the NSF Small Business Innovation Research program. The arm is more simplistic than similar robotic surgical systems, but is more intuitive to use, requires less training and less expensive, according to Shorya Awtar, an University of Michigan engineer who co-founded FlexDex. The innovation could provide more surgeons with access to a laparoscopic instrument, resulting in shorter, less painful recovery times for patients. Find out more in the NSF discovery story.

Original air date: February 22, 2017

Credit: FlexDex Surgical

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