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Novel soft robotic system for transoral laser microsurgery



Head and neck cancer (HNC) is the seventh most common cancer in the world. Laser therapy has been widely used in the treatment of a variety of HNCs. However, the conventional treatment system requires extreme positioning of patients such as neck extension and retraction of the tongue. The research team has developed a soft robotic manipulator for transoral laser microsurgery on head and neck cancer. With the flexible endoscopic approach, the proposed robotic system enabled direct exposure of the ablation laser to the target lesion. Moreover, the system is guided by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to precisely monitor the ablation process in real time, which is important for function preservation of surrounding structures. (Sci Robot. 2021 Aug 18;6(57):eabg5575. doi: 10.1126/scirobotics.abg5575.)


Anyone interested in future collaboration in this field of research is welcome to contact our key investigator Dr Jason CHAN from the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery, CUHK. Dr Chan’s research focuses on the nasopharyngeal carcinoma, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, the microbiome in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and minimally invasive head and neck surgery.