Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical technique where patients are operated through small incisions in one of their joints. The knee, shoulder and ankle are most frequently operated. This technique is highly popular as it has tremendous advantages for the patient in terms of quick recovery and rehabilitation. However, the limited access to the joint, the complex shape of the joint and the primarily straight instruments pose challenges for the surgeon when operating.
Our philosophy is to enhance the dexterity of the surgeon when performing arthroscopy by a multidisciplinary design approach. Firstly, we aim to leave the surgeon in control when performing the operation. This requires a translation of fundamental knowledge on the physical and mental capabilities of human performance into new designs, e.g. the number of degrees of freedom that can be controlled by one hand. Secondly, we aim to have the optimal interaction between the device and the tissue to be treated. This requires a translation of fundamental knowledge on human tissue material and machining properties into new designs, e.g. the required force to cut cartilage tissue. Thirdly, we aim to reach the pathologic tissue with minimal collateral damage to the surrounding tissues. This requires fundamental knowledge on mechanism design and production technology, e.g. 3D printing and waterjet technology.
Focus on specific challenges
Challenges for handheld instruments are the following: measuring human tissue material properties, design of steerable but stiff shafts, and maintaining low complexity of the new designs. Examples of our solutions are found in the pictures and associated scientific papers in the blog roll of this project.
Grants & Awards
- 2016 Take-off grant Phase 2 from Technology Foundation STW Topic: A steerable punch for meniscectomy. T. Horeman
- 2015 3 in 5 award session. Horeman T., Aguirre M., Kerkhoffs G.M.M.J., Dankelman J., Tuijthof G.J.M., A stiff and simple steering mechanism for arthroscopic instruments. Design of Medical Devices Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, April 11-13 2015
- 2015 Take-off grant from Technology Foundation STW Topic: A steerable punch for meniscectomy – feasibility of SATA-technology
- 2012 NIMIT-Development Centre from Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMW) Topic: Minimally invasive surgical instruments from concept to clinical prototype: Steerable Punch
- 2012 Runner-up IMDI talent award by ZONMW received by MSc student Roel van Gorkum for ‘Development of a device to assist force generation for high-load orthopedic actions’
- 2010 3 in 5 award session. Nai T.Y., Herder J.L., Tuijthof G.J.M., Design of a compliant steerable arthroscopic punch. Design of Medical Devices Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, April 13-15 2010
- 2010 Prof. Wim van der Hoek-award received by MSc student Tim Nai for ‘Design of a compliant steerable arthroscopic punch’