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Design of a Miniature Observation Robot for Light Emitting Diode Irradiation and Indocyanine Green Fluorescence-emission Guided Lymph Node Monitoring in Operating Rooms.

Surgical Innovation 2023 October 13
MOTIVATION: Typical surgical microscopes used for fluorescence-based lymph node detection experience limitations such as weight and restricted adjustability of the integrated light emitting diode (LED) and camera. This restricts the capture of detailed images of specific regions within the lesion.

RESEARCH GOAL: This study proposes a miniature observation robot design that offers adjustable working distance (WD) and rotational radius, along with zoom-in/zoom-out functionality.

METHODS: A five-degree-of-freedom manipulator was designed, with the end effector incorporating an LED and concave lens to widen the beam width for comprehensive lesion illumination. Additionally, a long-pass filter was integrated into the camera system to enhance image resolution.

EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS: Experiments were conducted using a fluorescence-expressing phantom to evaluate the performance of the robot. Results demonstrated a captured image resolution of 9600 × 3240 pixels and a zoom-in/zoom-out capacity of up to 3.68 times.

CONCLUSION: The proposed robot design is cost-effective and highly adjustable, enabling suitability for rapid and accurate detection of fresh lymph nodes during surgeries. The robot's capability to detect small lesions (<1 cm), as validated by phantom tests, holds promise for the detection of minute lymph nodes.

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