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Getting robotic surgical tools from the lab to the operating room

by May. 8, 2018, 2:03 PM

The path from university lab to commercialization is especially complex in the biotech industry. Challenges range from long lead times, sometimes measured in decades, to the costs of transforming ideas into innovations, as well as issues of intellectual property, patenting and licensing.

Yet Nabil Simaan, a mechanical engineering professor who specializes in designing robots to help surgeons perform operations in areas of the body that are hard to reach, does not deter easily. He has years of experience working collaboratively with commercial entities while collecting numerous patents—three  in 2017 alone.

Simaan’s Advanced Robotics and Mechanism Applications Laboratory at Vanderbilt leads the way in advancing several robotics technologies for medical use, including miniature robots for single small-incision, cochlear implant and minimally invasive throat surgeries.

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