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KNU Fosters Innovation in High-tech Robotic Neurosurgery


KNU Fosters Innovation in High-tech Robotic Neurosurgery


In the world of modern surgery, brain surgery is by far one of the most complicated and high-tech.  In keeping with technological trends, a movement is currently underway at KNU to develop a robotics system specific to this area; and on March 22nd, the University held a symposium at the Global Plaza celebrating the opening of the KNU Research Center of Robot Systems for Brain Surgery.


Neurosurgery has been the most scientifically developed clinical field for the last 30 years.  According to Professor Park Jae Chan, chief of the new research center, operations in neurosurgery were the first to benefit from such high-tech image technologies as CT and MRI.  It was also the first to apply high-tech operation equipment such as operating microscopes, high speed drills, and operating navigational devices. However, as Prof. Park points out, minimally invasive surgical procedures have been slightly left behind. He feels this problem can be solved by developing new operating robots.


Currently the most famous robot technology developed for such operations is DAVINCI, invented by the United States Corporation Intuitive Surgical. It has been an advanced tool in various departments of surgery, urology, general surgery, and obstetrics since its introduction in Korea. DAVINCI has opened the grounds for robot operations. However, there is a general opinion that due to strong and extensive patent nets, industrializing robots for operations based on an operating endoscope is nearly impossible. For researchers and other business enterprises, this has been an insuperable barrier.


Professor Park Jae-Chan elaborates: "Tough circumstances make the development of robots for brain surgery possible. Brain surgery can be operated not by the miniaturization of DAVINCI, but by inventing a new operating robot which can facilitate a new patent and avoid the existing patent net. We need our own original functions and compositions of robots for brain surgery."


Professor Park has published his own surgical and research experience as an authority on cerebral aneurysm surgery in the brow region in international journals such as Neurosurgery, the official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, and Journal of Neurosurgery.  Moreover, he is a leading expert in the area of brain surgery through minimally invasive procedures.


The March 22nd symposium also featured lectures by other renowned professionals in the field of neurosurgery.  Prof. Sben Kandelhart from the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz gave a presentation entitled "Image-Guided Neurosurgery and the Present and Future of Robotics", and Prof. Park Jae-chan from the Neurosurgery Department at KNU Hospital presented "Minimal Invasive Neurosurgery in the Future". Other notable attendees included Professors Kim Min-Young and Veluvolu Kalyana from the KNU Department of Electric Engineering, as well as researchers from Seoul National University, Pohang University of Science and Technology, and Daegu Advanced Institute for Science and Technology.  


Reported by Kim Su-yong, Maeil Shinmun

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