The famous Chili Crab dish from Singapore inspires more than just drooling. A pair of researchers have developed a robot with two tiny crab-like pincers that attacks stomach cancer via your mouth.
Lawrence Ho, an enterologist at Singapore's National University Hospital and Louis Phee, associate professor at Singapore's Nanyang Technological Institute, co-designed the robot to combat early-stage gastrointestinal cancer. It is mounted on an endoscope along with a small camera and passed down the esophagus and into the stomach. Controlled by a surgeon, its pincers work in tandem, one claw grasping at the tumour while the other hook-shaped one neatly excises the flesh and coagulates any bleeding.
The prototype — reportedly suggested by Hong Kong surgeon, Sydney Chung, over a 2004 chilli crab dinner — has already successfully operated on five patients in Hong Kong and India. By entering through the mouth, chances for infection and scarring are greatly diminished.
"Many things are a certain way because they have evolved and adapted to certain functions ... we created something that followed the human anatomy and borrowed ideas from nature and incorporated the two," said Ho. The pair has since incorporated a company and hope to have a full-fledged product to market within three years. [PopSci — IB Times]
Image: Dr. Rosenrosen / Flickr.