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Design of a feedback restoring balanced compliant laparoscopic grasper
  • Jan-Willem Klok
Jan-Willem Klok
Technische Universiteit Delft

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Objective: In laparoscopic surgery, quality of haptic feedback is reduced compared to conventional surgery, leading to unintentional tissue damage during grasping. From the perspective of haptics, poor mechanical design of laparoscopic instrument joints induces friction and a nonlinear actuation -  tip force relation. In this study, a novel laparoscopic grasper using compliant joints and a magnetic balancer is presented, and the reduction in hysteresis and friction is evaluated. Methods & Results: The hysteresis loop of the novel compliant grasper and two conventional laparoscopic graspers (high quality Aesculap and low quality unbranded grasper) were measured. In order to assess quality of haptic feedback, the lowest grasper tip load perceivable by instrument users was measured with the novel and both the conventional laparoscopic graspers. The hysteresis loop measurement yielded a mechanical efficiency of 43% for the novel grasper, compared to- 25% and 23% for the Aesculap and the unbranded grasper, respectively. The forces perceivable by the user through the novel grasper were significantly lower (mean 1.37N, SD 0.44N) than those of conventional graspers (mean 2.15N, SD 0.71N and mean 2.65N, SD 1.20N, respectively). Conclusions: The balanced compliant grasper technology has the ability to improve the quality of haptic feedback compared to conventional laparoscopic graspers. Research is needed to relate these results to soft and delicate tissue grasping in a clinical setting, for which this instrument is intended.