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Division of Medical Devices

Our mission is to research and develop an array of new medical devices to be used in the surgical treatment of a fetus with congenital disease during the prenatal period. We specialize in the development of cutting-edge medical robotics technology, including robot-assisted endoscopes, ultrasonography, and multifunctional surgical devices, that have applications in fetal intervention by serving as "new eyes and hands" to assist doctors in delicate surgical procedures. We also design new surgical navigation systems that enable us to safely operate these robotic technologies in utero.

To enhance the viewing capabilities of conventional endoscopic and ultrasound devices, we have developed 3D, ultra-high sensitive and ultra-high resolution fluorescence endoscopes, and high-resolution 3D/4D ultrasound diagnosis apparatus. We have also designed miniature manipulators with multi-functional distal end-effectors, which as "new hands" provide surgical dexterity and precision, and a bending stabilizer to hold the fetal body in place during surgery.

To combine both viewing and surgical capabilities, we have constructed composite-type laser fetoscopes and an automatic high-intensity focused ultrasound delivery system. We have also devised a new navigation platform that guides the manipulation of instruments during minimal invasive surgery. The platform includes navigation tools such as a distance alarm sensor, a placental vascular mapping system, and an autostereoscopic display system using real-time 3D ultrasound data.

Although most of our devices are currently in the experimental phase, several of our new endoscopes have already been considered for a clinical trial. Further research and the integration of visual, surgical and navigational capabilities are necessary to enhance the effectiveness of our devices for general surgery. Through our ongoing collaborations with a variety of companies, universities and research institutions, we aim to improve the efficiency of our devices and make them accessible to the wider medical community.

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