< Back to previous page


Shaping the future of eye surgery with high-precision robotics

Since 2010, Andy Gijbels has a central role in the development and valorization of robotic assistance devices and instrumentation for eye surgery. The technology enables surgeons to perform extremely delicate procedures inside the eye with super-human precision. One of the targeted applications entails a 10-minute-long injection of a drug into a retinal vein with merely the thickness of a human hair, which is manually impossible. This treatment could be the first curative solution for patients with an occluded retinal vein, a blinding disease. After years of research, preclinical success rates as high as 98.5% were reached with the technology and clearance for a first series of clinical tests has been obtained. On the 12th of January 2017, an 81-year old patient was the first to undergo this robot-assisted treatment, a world first. After the treatment, this man regained a significant portion of his sight and is no longer considered blind (according to the legal definition). These achievements have resulted into numerous (inter)national follow-up projects, collaborations with industrial partners, two patent applications, multiple (inter)national awards and lots of (inter)national media coverage.
Date:17 May 2018 →  16 May 2020
Disciplines:Control systems, robotics and automation, Design theories and methods, Mechatronics and robotics, Computer theory