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New Cataract Treatment Will Involve Robots

Cataracts - which occur when the lens within the eye begins to cloud - are the most common cause of blindness in human beings, and also one of the more common challenges faced by Opthalmalogists. Traditionally, treatment involves a rather painstaking surgery in which the opthalmalogist cuts out the lens of the eye, replacing it with an artificial lens.

With modern technology, that process has become considerably less complex than it once was. At the same time, that doesn't mean it's necessarily a cakewalk for most doctors. It's about to get a whole lot easier, though.

Yesterday, an agreement was signed between two names well-known in the field of medical technology. BIOLASE, the world's leading distributor and manufacturer of dental lasers penned a contract with Auris Surgical Robots, developer of a miniscule robotic surgery system designed with eye doctors in mind. The goal of this coalition is simple, and will culminate in the creation of a new surgical robot which both organizations hope will improve the consistency, precision, and safety of cataract removal. 

The final product will feature BIOLASE'S WaterLase YSGG mounted on a uniquely-designed robotic microsurgical array.

 "We evaluated a variety of advanced cutting technologies for use in our robotic cataract-removal system," explained Auris chairman and CEO Frederic Moll, M.D. "For cutting precision, system compatibility, and lack of tissue trauma, we found significant advantages in using BIOLASE's Waterlase technology. We anticipate that our system will have major advantages over traditional phacoemulsification and should create a new standard for safety, speed, and effectiveness in cataract removal."

"We believe the BIOLASE-Auris collaboration marks the beginning of a wide adoption of WaterLase technology in ophthalmology," added Federico Pignatelli, Chairman and CEO of BIOLASE. "It's also a good example of the versatility of WaterLase technology in a non-dental field. Our Occulase Division was created to focus our ophthalmology resources for development, co-development, and licensing. We are delighted that the first concrete agreement to result from this is with a company founded and run by the founder of Intuitive Surgical, Inc., our board member Fred Moll."

"Robotics in medicine is gaining traction," he continued."This is appearing in corporate decision-making, such as last week's announced acquisition of Robotics company MAKO Surgical by Stryker Corporation. Serendipitously, the co-founder of MAKO Surgical is the Chairman and CEO of Auris Surgical Robotics, again Fred Moll, M.D."