We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us

Download Mobile App


ATTENTION: Due to the COVID-19 PANDEMIC, many events are being rescheduled for a later date, converted into virtual venues, or altogether cancelled. Please check with the event organizer or website prior to planning for any forthcoming event.
16 Feb 2023 - 18 Feb 2023

Tiny Mechanical Wrist Advances Needlescopic Surgery

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 10 Aug 2015
Print article
Image: A curette mounted upon the tiny nitinol wrist (Photo courtesy of Vanderbilt University).
Image: A curette mounted upon the tiny nitinol wrist (Photo courtesy of Vanderbilt University).
Surgical robots with steerable needles can now be equipped with tiny mechanical wrists that give new dexterity to needlescopic (microlaparoscopic) surgery.

Developed by researchers at Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN, USA) the new wrists are less than 2-mm thick, and are designed to provide needlescopic tools with a degree of dexterity previously lacking. Not only will this allow surgeon-operators to perform a number of new procedures (such as precise resections and suturing that have not been possible previously), but it will also allow the use of needles in places that have so far been beyond reach, such as the nose, throat, ears, and brain.

Needlscopic concentric tube robots are based on a series of telescoping tubes made of nitinol. Each of the tubes has a different intrinsic curvature; by precisely rotating, extending, and retracting the tubes, an operator can steer the tip in different directions, allowing it to follow a curving path through the body. The design allows the needles to operate in areas of the body that neither manual endoscopic instruments nor the da Vinci robot can reach. However, the usefulness of concentric tube robots was limited by the fact that the needles didn’t have a wrist.

The researchers therefore developed a wrist that also consists of a nitinol tube, but with several asymmetric cutouts. Pulling on an actuation tendon that runs through it causes the tube to bend by up to 90 degrees; when tension on the tendon is released, the tube springs back to its original shape. The researchers mounted a curette on the tiny (1.16 mm) wrist, and succeeded in bending it in various directions. The study describing the new wrist was presented at the annual International Conference on Robotics and Automation, held during May 2015 in Seattle (WA, USA).

“Adding the wrists to the steerable needles greatly expands the system’s usefulness. There are a myriad of potential applications in some really exciting areas such as endoscopic neurosurgery, operating within small lumens such as the ear, bronchus, urethra, etc.,” added professor of urological surgery S. Duke Herrell, MD, who is consulting on the project. “This would allow us to do surgeries that at present require much larger incisions and may even enable us to perform operations that are not feasible at present.”

Related Links:

Vanderbilt University

Gold Supplier
Temperature Monitor
ThermoScan Temperature Monitoring Unit
Blood Warmer
Smart nCPAP Device
X-Ray Image Acquisition Software
dicomPACS DX-R

Print article



view channel
Image: MyoVista Wavelet technology utilizes AI for early detection of heart disease (Photo courtesy of Heart Test Laboratories)

Novel ECG Technology Utilizes AI for Early Detection of Heart Disease

Cardiovascular disease is responsible for 17.9 million deaths every year, or about 32% of all deaths worldwide. Every week, millions of electrocardiographs (ECGs) are performed across the world, making... Read more

Critical Care

view channel
Image: Studies have shown the Autus Valve maintains control of blood flow as it expands (Photo courtesy of Boston Children’s Hospital)

Heart Valve That Grows Along With Child Could Reduce Invasive Surgeries

In children with congenital pulmonary valve disease, the flow of blood between the heart and lungs is impeded. In cases where the pulmonary valves have narrowed or are leaking and cannot be treated effectively... Read more

Health IT

view channel
Image: Using digital data can improve health outcomes (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Electronic Health Records May Be Key to Improving Patient Care, Study Finds

When a patient gets transferred from a hospital to a nearby specialist or rehabilitation facility, it is often difficult for personnel at the new facility to access the patient’s electronic health records... Read more

Point of Care

view channel
Image: Steripath improves the diagnostic accuracy and timeliness of sepsis test results (Photo courtesy of Magnolia)

All-in-One Device Reduces False-Positive Diagnostic Test Results for Bloodstream Infections

Blood cultures are considered the gold standard diagnostic test for the detection of blood stream infections, such as sepsis. However, positive blood culture results can be frequently wrong, and about... Read more


view channel
Image: The global patient positioning systems market is projected to reach USD 1.7 billion by 2027 (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Global Patient Positioning Systems Market Driven by Increasing Chronic Diseases

The global patient positioning systems market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4% from USD 1.4 billion in 2022 to USD 1.7 billion by 2027, driven by increasing technological advancements in medical devices,... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2023 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.