Nanoparticulate Enabled Surgical Instruments

Project: Research project

Project Details


[unreadable] DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The long-term goal of the project is to develop a new class of surgical instruments that provide multiple functions and multiple modes of movement at the instrument tip. The newly developed design approach and fabrication methods will result in designs with sub-millimeter insertion diameters for use in microsurgical and flexible endoscopic surgical procedures. The objective of this Exploratory/Developmental Research project is to demonstrate the feasibility of the novel approach to design and manufacture of multifunctional instruments for minimally invasive surgery. This effort is expected to serve as the foundation upon which families of minimally invasive surgical instruments can be built, including both improvements upon conventional straight- line access instruments and end-effectors for use in advanced microsurgical and transluminal systems. The Specific Aims are to (1) develop the technology to manufacture sub-millimeter tool tips using nanoparticulate materials, and (2) evaluate prototype instruments in laboratory simulations. The main advantages of nanoparticulate materials are their high strength and ability to be formed into very small feature sizes and sharp edges. A novel manufacturing process will be developed in which multilayer molds are made using photolithography and filled with the nanoparticulate materials. The photoresist is then burned away during sintering. This process enables the fabrication of many complex 3D parts in parallel. The project involves prototype construction based upon this new fabrication process, fabrication process improvement, and refinement of instrument designs based upon assessment of surgeon performance in simulated laparoscopic tasks. Upon completion of the project, the manufacturing capabilities will have been defined and initial prototypes will have been built as proof of concept. These results will serve as the basis for achieving the longer-term research goal of developing a new class of micro surgical instruments. It is expected that the multifunctional design and fabrication technologies being developed as part of the project have the potential to impact procedures as disparate as laparoscopy and its endoscopic or transluminal variants, neurosurgery, robotic-assisted surgery, flexible endoscopy such as colonoscopy, ophthalmology including vitreoretinal surgery, transluminal vascular procedures, and biopsy. For this project, the target application is flexible endoscopic surgery, a new field where there is a need for instrument technology and small instruments with multifunctionality. The multifunctional surgical instruments developed as part of the project will facilitate surgical efficiency through reduced time of instrument exchange and reduced risk of inadvertent tissue trauma during instrument exchanges. In addition, because multiple functions can be utilized in rapid succession (e.g., cutting and grasping) or simultaneously (e.g., grasping and articulation), multifunctional instruments introduce procedural capabilities that are unavailable using current materials and designs. In laparoscopic, vitreoretinal, or other kinds of minimally invasive surgery, it is expected that surgeons may actually modify their current procedures and/or techniques due to the availability of multifunctional instruments. [unreadable] [unreadable] [unreadable]
Effective start/end date6/6/075/31/10


  • National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering: $206,765.00
  • National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering: $175,247.00


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