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Virtual Incision recently developed a novel in vivo robot-assisted surgical system for minimally invasive general surgery procedures within the abdominal cavity, such as colon resections. About two-thirds of colon resection procedures occur via open surgery with an eight-to-twelve-inch incision and several weeks of recovery. In Virtual Incision’s in vivo system, the camera and robotic arms are inserted via a single midline umbilical incision into an insufflated abdominal cavity under complete visualization. Synectic Product Development was approached by Virtual Incision to develop a family of single-use disposable end effectors that can grasp, seal, cut, and dissect during robotic surgery. The biggest challenge involved developing a system that eliminates the possibility of a short circuit to meet ISO 60601 testing.

Utilizing our past knowledge and experience within the electrothermal, vascular sealing, and hemostasis markets, our engineers began development with a technology assessment. To address the short-circuiting issue, our electronic engineers worked to create a design that would isolate high potential current. Additionally, our medical device design engineers eliminated any “dead space” in the design, removing the potential for fluid build-up that could ingress into the robot and create a short circuit. An added advantage was the overall device was miniaturized to an optimal size. The build materials selected prevented electrical current arcing between jaws and maximized biocompatibility. Under FDA regulatory compliant quality documentation control, we performed design verification and processes validation. Finally, packaging was designed and tested to handle the shipping and sterilization parameters required of the robotic surgery end effectors.

surgical robot


vic surgical robot
Several varieties of disposable end effectors for grasping, sealing, cutting, and dissecting.
vic end effectors
An extremely small bipolar system that meets ISO 60601 testing.
surgical robot arm with end effectors
A family of single use disposable end effectors for robotic surgery.
surgical robot arm with end effectors
A family of single use disposable end effectors for robotic surgery.

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