Virtual Incision’s miniaturized robotic-assisted surgery device will launch into space in 2024
August 03, 2022
Lincoln, Neb. – August 2, 2022 – Virtual Incision Corporation, a medical device company pioneering the world’s first miniaturized robotic-assisted surgery (RAS) platform, today announced that its MIRA™ Platform will test its skills in space on a 2024 technology demonstration mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The opportunity is driven by a recently awarded grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
“The Virtual Incision MIRA platform was designed to deliver the power of a mainframe robotic-assisted surgery device in a miniaturized size, with the goal of making RAS accessible in any operating room on the planet,” said John Murphy, CEO of Virtual Incision. “Working with NASA aboard the space station will test how MIRA can make surgery accessible in even the most faraway places.”
Although it is not yet available for sale, MIRA is currently in the final stages of its U.S. clinical trial under an Investigational Device Exemption to support U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) market authorization. Weighing approximately 2 pounds, its small size makes it appealing to surgeons and hospital staff and also makes it ideal for use within the tight space and mass requirements of a long-duration space mission. Once aboard, MIRA will operate inside a microwave-oven-sized experiment locker and perform activities that simulate those used in surgery, such as cutting simulated tissue and manipulating small objects.
“NASA has ambitious plans for long-duration space travel, and it’s important to test the capabilities of technology that may be beneficial during missions measured in months and years,” said Shane Farritor, co-founder and chief technology officer at Virtual Incision. “MIRA continues to push the boundaries of what’s possible in RAS, and we are pleased with its performance so far during clinical trials. We’re excited to take it a step further and help identify what could be possible in the future as space travel is becoming more of a reality for mankind.”
NASA’s grant was awarded to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln through the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) at the University of Nebraska Omaha. Farritor serves as professor of engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he has led research on the potential use of surgical robots in space. Farritor co-founded Virtual Incision with Dmitry Oleynikov MD, combining their experience in engineering and minimally invasive surgery to help create MIRA. Prior to Virtual Incision, Farritor studied at the Kennedy Space Center, Goddard Space Flight Center, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
About the MIRA™ Platform
Virtual Incision’s MIRA is the world’s first miniaturized robotic-assisted surgery (RAS) platform. Its small, sleek design is planned to offer the benefits of RAS during abdominal procedures without the logistical inefficiencies of traditional mainframe systems. The easily accessible device weighs approximately 2 pounds and can be used in any operating room – a dedicated mainframe room is unnecessary. With its drape- and dock-free design and portability, MIRA is quick to set up, clean, and move in between cases, potentially enabling an increased robotic-assisted surgery caseload. MIRA is currently in FDA clinical trials under an IDE and is not available for sale.
About Virtual Incision
Virtual Incision is on a mission to simplify robotic-assisted surgery (RAS), so more patients and their surgeons can access its benefits every day. Headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska, and holding over 200 patents and patent applications, the company is developing MIRA, the first-of-its-kind miniature and highly accessible RAS platform.