UNMC, UNL receive $1.4 million US Army Grant

Aug 14, 2014

Researchers at UNMC and UNL are working to develop robotic telesurgery.

Dr. Dmitry Oleynikov is director of the Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery and the Center for Advanced Surgical Technology at UNMC.

He says today the surgeon operating on a patient is inches away from them, but it’s not always possible to have an experienced surgeon everywhere. 

Oleynikov says the point of the research is to develop a way for someone to perform life saving surgery without having to fly the expert to them. 

It’s called robotic telesurgery and allows experts to control a robot through a joystick to perform operations over long distances.

"The issue there is the robot has to be fairly easy to deploy, so a relatively basically trained individual can use that device. And then the expert can then run the device.  So the device has to be both easy to deploy and small so it can be carried anywhere but then sophisticated enough that the surgeon can do complex procedures with it.”

Oleynikov says that kind of technology does not currently exist.  He says that’s why doctors are researching ways to develop miniature robots that are capable of this kind of technology. 

UNMC and UNL staff have been working together with the US Army on this research since 2008. They recently received additional funds from the army to continue the work.