Design and Application of Compliant Mechanisms for Surgical Tools

[+] Author and Article Information
S. Kota, Z. Kreiner, B. Trease

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

K.-J. Lu

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,  The George Washington University, Washington, DC

J. Arenas

Transplant Institute,  Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI

J. Geiger

Department of Surgery,  The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

J Biomech Eng 127(6), 981-989 (Jul 26, 2005) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2056561 History: Received April 19, 2005; Revised July 26, 2005

This paper introduces the benefits of exploiting elasticity in the engineering design of surgical tools, in general, and of minimally invasive procedures, in particular. Compliant mechanisms are jointless mechanisms that rely on elastic deformation to transmit forces and motion. The lack of traditional joints in these single-piece flexible structures offers many benefits, including the absence of wear debris, pinch points, crevices, and lubrication. Such systems are particularly amenable to embedded sensing for haptic feedback and embedded actuation with active-material actuators. The paper provides an overview of design synthesis methods developed at the Compliant Systems Design Laboratory and focuses specifically on surgical applications. Compliant systems have potential to integrate well within the constraints of laparoscopic procedures and telerobotic surgery. A load-path representation is used within a genetic algorithm to solve two gripper example problems. In addition, the paper illustrates the design and construction of an organ (kidney) manipulator for use in minimally invasive procedures.

Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Illustration of the typical two-stage approach for compliant mechanism synthesis: (a) Stage I: topology synthesis, and (b) Stage II: dimensional synthesis

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Figure 2

(a) Compliant gripper example to illustrate the different load paths in a structure and (b) the associated topology graph

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Figure 3

Connectivity concept in the load-path representation. Load paths can connect essential ports directly or indirectly through intermediate connection ports.

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Figure 4

(a) Fully connected topology graph of a compliant mechanism. (b) Although the path sequences are identical to those in (a), different intermediate port locations render different geometries in the compliant mechanisms.

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Figure 5

Problem specification of a compliant gripper, using Max. MPE as the objective function. The gripper is symmetric about x-axis, thus only the upper half is modeled.

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Figure 6

Half-model result from the load-path synthesis approach (left), and a full-model verification in ANSYS (right)

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Figure 7

Prototype of the compliant gripper in its inactive mode (left) and gripping mode (right)

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Figure 8

Problem specification of a compliant gripper, using min. LSE as the objective function. Only one finger of the gripper is modeled.

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Figure 9

Result obtained from the load-path synthesis approach (left) and verification in ANSYS (right)

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Figure 10

A CAD model of the compliant kidney gripper. Beam cross sections are all 3mm×0.9mm.

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Figure 11

Closed position. Kidney gripper shown with the compliant fingers contained within the 1.5 cm dia tube

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Figure 12

Open position. As the external tube is retracted, the fingers open to nominal position

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Figure 13

Fabricated 7-DOF kidney-gripper prototype

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Figure 14

Compliant kidney gripper and manipulator for use in laparoscopic surgery

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Figure 15

Stating point topology for a gripper arm, shown in the nominal, open position

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Figure 16

Points used as an initial topology guess for the organ manipulator. The beams are defined by the nodes that they connect. Out-of-plane width is 3 mm.

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Figure 17

Surgical tool cross section with manipulator arm orientations. The rectangles represent the width and thickness boundaries of the design domain for each of the gripper arms.

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Figure 18

Optimized topology for the manipulator arm

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Figure 19

Final manipulator-arm topology

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Figure 20

Some relevant dimensions of the kidney manipulator



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