A Magnetically Steered Endolaser Probe for Automated Panretinal Photocoagulation

Published IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 2019



The advanced state of diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of blindness, is treated by panretinal photocoagulation (PRP), a repetitive procedure performed by a surgeon using a handheld laser probe. In its place we propose a soft-robotic flexible probe precisely steered using magnetic fields generated by an external magnetic steering system. We develop a kinematic model for the PRP task and show that the process can be automated given image feedback of the retina through a fundus camera. We demonstrate the concept in an eye phantom of a human eye, achieving clinical-level accuracy and faster speeds than human surgeons.