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Robotic Surgery – Engineering from a Surgeon’s Perspective, Oct 2


Robotic surgery has made considerable strides in the last 15 years. FDA-approved robotic systems have revolutionized surgery by giving surgeons better visualization and precision. However, even with the most sophisticated systems, the limitations of surgical robotics are clear to the surgeons who use them. Technologies that are new or greatly improved in the past decade can make possible a new generation of surgical robotics, which in turn, would give new capabilities to skilled surgeons and result in better outcomes to patients.

Advances in a range of technologies that may benefit robotic surgery include the incorporation of force feedback which will reduce surgical errors such as the accidental penetration of organs and suture breakage, and tactile sensation which would give surgeons the “feel” of open surgery while working with robotic “hands” through keyhole incisions.

To take surgery to the next level, visualization beyond the surface of organs is the obvious next step. With current robotic systems, while surgeons seated at consoles away from the patient have magnified and 3-D views inside the patient’s body, they are not able to see inside organs and tissues. Real-time imaging using biosensors would facilitate dissection at a subsurface level.


Susan Lim is a Singaporean surgeon who performed the first successful liver transplant in Singapore in 1990.

In 2003 Lim started the biotechnology company Stem Cell Technologies. The following year she became a Fellow of Trinity College (University of Melbourne). She is the youngest and first Singaporean to receive this honor.

Lim established the Indiapore Trust with her husband Deepak Sharma and her friend Satpal Khattar. The trust issued $50,000 to the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, which assists struggling parents to meet their children’s school expenses. The trust has also donated a science laboratory to Raffles Junior College and provided scholarships to underprivileged children in Singapore and India.

Lim sits on the Global Advisory Council of the International Society for Stem Cell Research. In April 2011 she gave a presentation at TED on Transplanting Cells, Not Organs.

In October 2011 Lim was included in The University of Newcastle’s book 100 Women, which celebrates the achievements of 100 remarkable and inspirational women, both in Australia and globally


Free and open to the public, the Research Exchange Seminar Series is a weekly roundtable of presentations and discussions that highlight ways to frame and tackle societal-scale research issues in health care, energy, infrastructure, data & democracy and many other topics.

We require registration if you would like to reserve a free lunch for this seminar. You’re welcome to walk-in to attend the seminar as registration is not necessary, but lunch will not be provided for guests without a ticket. Feel free to bring your own lunch (coffee and soda are not allowed in the auditorium).

Live broadcast at mms://media.citris.berkeley.edu/webcast or


Ask questions live on Twitter: #CITRISRE

Webviewing at UC Davis: 1003 Kemper Hall

Webviewing at UC Merced: SE 100

Webviewing at UC Santa Cruz: SOE E2 Building, Room 595B