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Robotic surgery startup claims to be first to enable laser cutting of bone tissue

A robotic surgery startup in Switzerland claims to have become the first to enable the laser cutting of bone tissue. 

Bones in humans have been cut using saw for “thousands of years”, says Advanced Osteotomy Tools, adding that the company now offers the “technology reinvent bone surgery”.

The instrument AOT has developed is called “Carlo”, short for “cold ablation robot-guided laser osteotomes”.

AOT says its robotic procedure has succeeded in cutting bones while keeping the bone tissue in the area of the laser cut “in tact and vital”.

It adds: “Carlo is the world’s first medical, tactile robot that can cut bone without contact using cold laser technology.

“The device allows the surgeon to perform bone operations with unprecedented precision, and allows freely defined, curved and functional cut configurations that are not possible with conventional instruments.”

The company recently conducted its first clinical use of the Carlo device at Univeristy Hospital in Basel (pictured above). The patient is said to be doing well.

Dr Erich platzer, chairman of AOT, says: “The contactless Carlo enables the complete digitisation of the entire patient journey… there are no longer mechanical elements involved that deform under tools.

Cyril Bätscher, CEO of AOT, says: “We anticipate significant clinical interest for this innovative platform once cleared for commercial distribution in the upcoming months.”

AOT was founded in 2010 and has raised “several million” dollars in funding. It currently has approximately 20 employees and is based in Basel.