CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Canadian scientists and engineers have developed a robot with a keen sense of touch that will let doctors perform microscopic operations on the brain using the most vivid visuals yet, they said on Tuesday.
A melding of brain surgery and rocket science, the neuroArm allows neurosurgeons to do their riskiest work on patients within a magnetic resonance imaging machine, or MRI, giving a clear 3-D picture of even the smallest nerves.
It is expected to be used in its first operation this summer at Calgary's Foothills Hospital, site of the University of Calgary medical school's research facility.
The C$27 million ($24 million) robot was created in conjunction with the company that built a robotic arm called CanadArm for NASA space shuttles.
It will let doctors use surgical techniques on afflictions such as brain tumors that human surgeons are simply not dexterous enough to do, said Garnette Sutherland, a University of Calgary neurosurgeon who heads the project.
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