Surgery without stitches nearby due to ‘origami tools’

Mechanical engineers who’ve applied the concepts of origami to produce tools smaller sized sized plus much more compact for spaceflight are really employing their understanding to create small, automatic surgical instruments. They anticipate surgical incisions becoming so small they could heal on their own – without sutures or stitches.

origami forceps
The team is developing robotic origami forceps that are so small they can pass through a 3 mm hole.
Image credit: Mark Philbrick / BYU

Brigham Youthful College (BYU) in Provo, UT, have previously licensed a few of their origami-inspired technology to Intuitive Surgical, makers from the da Vinci surgical robot that allows surgeons to handle procedures like prostate removal via a couple of, small incisions.

Ray Howell and Spencer Magleby, professors of mechanical engineering at BYU are leading the audience focusing on the origami surgical technology.

Prof. Howell states the aim is perfect for smaller sized and smaller sized incisions, and:

“To that end, we’re creating devices that can be inserted into a tiny incision and then deployed inside the body to carry out a specific surgical function.”

The surgical instrument industry has arrived at its limit regarding size – it can’t go smaller sized with traditional designs.

The BYU team is promoting a cutting-edge approach that doesn’t require pin joints along with other parts – it uses the deflection natural in origami to permit movement.

An example they’re focusing on is automatic forceps which are so small they are able to go through a 3 mm hole – roughly the thickness from the charging cable for any computer or mobile phone.

Once inside, the instrument ‘needs to get much larger’

The BYU team can also be focusing on an idea known as the “D-Core.” Here, the instrument begins like a flat shape that may be placed via a small cut, then grows to get two rounded surfaces that roll on one another – rather such as the movement produced by adjacent dvds within the spine.

The scientists report their ideas about D-Core and just how it could operate in a paper printed in Mechanism and Machine Theory. The paper features a description of physical appliances show single-sheet manufacture, flat storage and deployment states.

Prof. Magleby states they’re using exactly the same concepts to medical products they utilized in developing space equipment for NASA. He notes the similarity in needs:

“Those who design spacecraft want their products to be small and compact because space is at a premium on a spacecraft, but once you get in space, they want those same products to be large, such as solar arrays or antennas.”

He states the idea they’re using to surgical instruments is identical: “We want something to obtain quite small to undergo the cut, but when it’s inside, we’d want it to get much bigger.”

Within the following video, the engineers summarize the job they’re doing to use origami concepts to creating precision, compact surgical instruments, plus they show some good examples.

Prof. Magleby states the techniques they’re developing – inspired by origami – are actually helping them see steps to make things smaller sized and smaller sized, and much easier and much easier. He concludes:

“These small instruments will allow for a whole new range of surgeries to be performed – hopefully one day manipulating things as small as nerves.

Engineering innovations are bringing many benefits to the operating room. For example, in January 2016, Medical News Today learned how surgeons in Britain transplanted a father’s kidney into his 2-year-old daughter with the help of a 3D-printed kidney.