The development presented in this paper meets the challenge by combining fiber-optic LTS with the precision and accuracy of robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery and includes direct temperature control, resulting in the so-called robot-assisted LTS-method (RLTS). The proof of feasibility used discrete and continuous RLTS with temperature control (60°C) of incisions in mouse skin, followed by mechanical testing of the bonded tissue. By means of the used technology, parameters relating to heat induction and temperature can be kept controlled at the desired values. Medically, this results in strong bonding, yielding approximately 55% (discrete) and 70% (continuous) of the tearing force of intact tissue, respectively.
The RLTS technology shows potential for fast and precise tissue bonding, high and uniform bond strength throughout the incision, and fully automated or shared control soldering. Thus, RLTS may have an impact in surgical disciplines where robot-assisted operations are already introduced, and it potentially opens new clincial fields.
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