Shape Deposition Manufacturing of a Soft, Atraumatic, Deployable Surgical Grasper


J. Gafford, et al., “Shape Deposition Manufacturing of a Soft, Atraumatic, Deployable Surgical Grasper,” in Proceedings of Design of Medical Devices Conference 2014, Minneapolis, MN, 2014.

Date Presented:

7-10 April


Laparoscopic pancreaticoduodenectomy (also known as the Whipple procedure) is a highly-complex minimally-invasive surgical ({MIS)} procedure used to remove cancer from the head of the pancreas. While mortality rates of the {MIS} approach are comparable with those of open procedures, morbidity rates remain high due to the delicate nature of the pancreatic tissue, proximity of high-pressure vasculature, and the number of complex anastomoses required [1]. The sharp, rigid nature of the tools and forceps used to manipulate these structures, coupled with lack of haptic feedback, can result in leakage or hemorrhage, which can obfuscate the surgeon's view and force the surgeon to convert to an open procedure. We present a deployable atraumatic grasper (103 mm long and 14mm {OD} when closed) with on-board pressure sensing, allowing a surgeon to grasp and manipulate soft tissue during laparoscopic pancreatic surgery. Created using shape deposition manufacturing, with pressure sensors embedded in each finger enabling real-time grip force monitoring, the device offers the potential to reduce the risk of intraoperative hemorrhage by providing the surgeon with a soft, compliant interface between delicate pancreatic tissue structures and metal laparoscopic forceps that are currently used to manipulate and retract these structures on an ad-hoc basis. Initial manipulation tasks in a simulated environment have demonstrated that the device can be deployed though a 15mm trocar and develop a stable grasp on a pancreas analog using Intuitive Surgical's {daVinciTM} robotic end-effectors.

Last updated on 03/17/2014