PARIS – Fraunhofer researchers have developed an instrument handle for surgical tools that lights up when surgeons have used enough pressure during a procedure.
So far, surgeons could only rely on their pure instinct and experience. The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in Stuttgart teamed with Weber Instrumente GmbH to develop a vulcanized instrument handle that fits on most surgical tools and lights up to warn surgeons, making precision surgeries easier to conduct.
Using the instrument handle, the surgeon is given feedback during the procedure, advising him/her if he/she can insert the instrument even further. Researchers explained that if the surgeon tightens a screw, then the sensors measure the applied force. Once the optimal torsional moment is reached, LEDs report this through an optical signal. This signal can be seen through the transparent silicon sections of the handle.
Once the optimal torsional moment is reached, an LED on the inside of the instrument handle lights up
The necessary power is supplied and stored via an inductive charging process or a coil system, researchers said. Sensors and LEDs are integrated in the handle to prevent germs penetration and proliferation. The instrument handle can be sterilized at 134 degrees Celsius.
The researchers said they intend to enhance the approximately nine-centimeter handle with a wireless interface, so that the sensor data can be transmitted to a PC, allowing the surgical process to be documented.
An initial prototype is expected to be presented at the 2013 Medtec trade show in Stuttgart. Related posts:
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