Safe retrACTION based on magnetic forces and POLymeric films

BioRobotics Institute Role: 

Project Lifetime
Jan 2013 to Dec 2013

Funding Institutions: 

Intuitive Surgical

Research Program: 
Technology Research Grant Program for 2013
Contribution to SSSA: 
49800 $

Over the past years, important technological investments have been made in surgical research to further reduce the number and/or size of incisions needed to accomplish surgical procedures. From a technological viewpoint, small-diameter laparoscopic instruments have been proposed and the possibility to reduce the number of abdominal ports (from three/four to one-single port or endoscopic access) has been clinically validated.

However, the early enthusiasm for the reduced surgical invasiveness has been mitigated by evident technical difficulties concerning the feasibility of complete procedures by Minimal Access Surgery (MAS). These limitations are even stronger in emerging surgical procedures, such as Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES) or single-port laparoscopy (SPL), which remain limited because of the constraints due to the use of a single access.

The inability to perform safe organ retraction, especially for large organs (e.g. the small bowel in abdominal procedures), represents one of the most critical issues in MAS. The above mentioned technical limitations, joined together with anatomical constraints, are the main drawbacks to overcome for making the minimal access regime the gold standard for future surgical procedures.

In this framework, SACTIONPOL takes advantages of the synergy between chemical and physical solutions and it represents a novel approach in MAS for obtaining:

  • safe retraction of organs (both healthy organs and organs to be removed);
  • safe manipulation of large organs by multiple anchoring points.

SACTIONPOL can impact on several MAS procedures: in traditional and robotic laparoscopy, where safe and effective organ retraction could allow to reduce the number of incisions for abdominal procedures; in NOTES, to overcome the limitations and drawbacks of endoscopy-assisted multiaxial traction; in SPL procedures, where assistive retraction devices allow to recapture the triangulation that is afforded by conventional laparoscopy and that is missed when several instruments are introduced through a single port.

For reaching this objective, SACTIONPOL aims to develop a safe and robust retraction system for minimally invasive abdominal interventions that exploits a hybrid approach (i.e. chemical adhesion + magnetic anchoring) for overcoming typical limitations associated to pure mechanical retraction. The SACTIONPOL main deliverables will be a tissue retraction/manipulation device and the associated technique for delivery and retrieval of the device. The SACTIONPOL basic device will consist of a small permanent magnet anchored to the organ to be retracted by a biocompatible adhesive film and interacting with an external magnetic handle, as described in the next sections.

Media - pictures: 



Meet the team

Clementina Cruceli (master thesis student)