Christine Emery, Engineering

Design of an Atraumatic Laparoscopic Grasper

I am designing a novel laparoscopic grasper that reduces the risk of inadvertent tissue damage during surgery.  The small, V-shaped jaws of traditional laparoscopic graspers apply high and uneven pressures to tissue and cause slippage when grasping, inducing tissue perforation and cell death.  Potential adverse effects of grasper usage include bleeding, scar tissue, adhesion, and fistula formation.  My design utilizes parallel, rather than V-shaped, jaws to maximize contact area and prevent slippage between the jaws and tissue.  I am currently developing a working grasper prototype using aluminum and 3D-printed parts.  To verify that my design is more effective than the currently used graspers, I will use mechanical testing to determine the forces required to pull tissue out of the graspers.