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Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering

ISSN Print: 0278-940X
ISSN Online: 1943-619X

Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevBiomedEng.2014010440
pages 365-391

Computer-Assisted Transoral Surgery with Flexible Robotics and Navigation Technologies: A Review of Recent Progress and Research Challenges

Hongliang Ren
Department of Biomedical Engineering and Advanced Robotics Center, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Chwee Ming Lim
Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (ENT), National University Hospital, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Jiaole Wang
Department of Biomedical Engineering and Advanced Robotics Center, National University of Singapore, Singapore; Department of Electronic Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong
Wei Liu
Department of Biomedical Engineering and Advanced Robotics Center, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Shuang Song
Department of Biomedical Engineering and Advanced Robotics Center, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Zheng Li
Department of Biomedical Engineering and Advanced Robotics Center, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Geraint Herbert
Department of Biomedical Engineering and Advanced Robotics Center, National University of Singapore, Singapore; Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, UK
Zion Tsz Ho Tse
College of Engineering, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Zeqi Tan
Department of Biomedical Engineering and Advanced Robotics Center, National University of Singapore, Singapore

ABSTRACT

This article reviews the flexible robotic surgery and navigation technologies that are currently available and under research development, in particular for transoral robotic surgery, in both broad and narrow senses. The clinical background, classifications, associated biomedical robotics applications, and surgical outcomes are illustrated in this new paradigm of minimally invasive surgery. The state-of-the-art robotic and navigation systems for transoral procedures are reviewed by identifying their key properties and considerations. The use of different materials and actuation methods by current robotic systems offers various movements for different purposes, and their characteristics are compared. The future research trends of robotic and navigation systems for transoral procedures are discussed in terms of emerging new material, actuation, and sensing technologies.