CARIBPR Wire, The Valley, Anguilla, Tues. May 23, 2023: Dr. Lowell Hughes, an Anguillan plastic surgeon has co-invented a method for unassisted robotic surgery at the quantum scale. Far from being a play on words, the invention aims to eliminate human error from one of medicine’s most ambitious and intricate skills – surgery. The surgical innovation represents the second patent for Hughes in the month of May, a noteworthy achievement, considering that only 13% of issued patents are awarded to doctoral scientists and engineers, and multiple patent grants are even rarer.
Technology and societies evolve with innovation, robotics, artificial intelligence, advanced anatomic imaging, and programmatic processes have advanced substantial over the last decade. While surgical advancements have historically lagged, this latest invention is positioned to transform the field of microsurgery, enabling techniques to operate at the atomic scale, well beyond the limits of human dexterity and traditional surgical instruments. This invention, entitled “Unassisted Robotic Surgery Employing Paramagnetic Halo Metallofullerenes as Minimally Invasive, Precision Scalpels or Micronization Particles through Magnetic Field Manipulation and Targeted Exenteration Patterned by Programmed 3D Imaging Using Needle or Magnetic Energy Access and Microelectronic Semiconducting in Non-stationary Wafer-less Space” addresses the complexities and challenges of human biology, encompassing minuscule glands, intricate anatomic pathways, microscopic neuroanatomy, and nanoscale pathophysiology (Patent No. 11,653,984).
Dr. Hughes, a board-certified plastic and general surgeon, envisions early utility of this breakthrough as a potential cure for chronic dry eye disease, which affects nearly half of the population due to clogged eyelid glands. The innovation could redefine the limits of surgery and patient care, enabling treatment of previously untreatable conditions and unlocking new possibilities for challenging procedures that have been hindered by the limitations of human hands and macroscale surgical instruments, such as deep brain surgery.
Hughes Medical Center offers a comprehensive suite of procedures using a healthcare model that features both local and visiting specialists that deliver globally recognized care. Their diverse and dynamic practice of physicians from the West Indies, United States and Europe foster deep connections with Anguillan patients, providing exceptional care alongside intellectual engagement. In addition to this patent accolade, Dr. Hughes has two additional inventions under review that focus on weight loss and malnutrition mitigation and stunting in children. His motivations towards these major health challenges are regionally charged, as childhood stunting affects nearly 30% of the population in nearby Haiti while antithetically 20% of children in this same population experience obesity.
Dr. Hughes emphasizes the importance of fostering innovation in the West Indies. “Our West Indies family of nations must break from our economic past by using our creativity and hardscrabble environment as inspiration and motivation. Our most favored competitive asset is our endemic abilities, and we must teach our children to read, first and foremost, and secondly, fuel our kids with STEM education.” Dr. Hughes went on to explain the need for local manufacturing of inventions in the Caribbean, highlighting that high technology factory floorspace requirements are significantly smaller for innovations like the upcoming malnutrition solution and cure for stunting. He cited a previous invention for mitigating STDs and UTIs, explaining that the atomic scale matter required to meet annual global demand would only fill up a kitchen cabinet or two, showcasing the potential for the region to become a hub for advanced manufacturing.
In 2023, Anguilla emerges as a hotspot for innovation and invention, propelling the region to new technological heights and industrial possibilities. This resurgence harkens back to the days of the “sea island cotton era” and the first resident cottonseed removal gin, now proudly displayed at the Anguilla Heritage Collection Museum in the East End. The cotton gin, once a significant capital investment equivalent to purchasing multiple homes, highlights the historical importance of Anguilla’s cotton yield and its role in British textile industry dominance. The island’s rich industrial past also includes the Sombrero phosphate mines, which employed 130 Anguillan workers and produced the fertilizer that replenished the depleted soils in the U.S. Southern States following the American Civil War. This vital contribution helped save the war-weary, hungry, and disheveled population from starvation. Although the lucrative mineral lease payments made directly to the war-depleted UK crown coffers have never been formally acknowledged or credited, they remain an unforgettable part of Anguilla’s ancestral legacy.
Innovation born from Anguillan ingenuity has earned seven USPTO utility patent awards since the pandemic, showing that even in challenging times, human creativity and determination know no bounds.