Virtual Incision End Effectors For Robotic Surgery

The challenge

Virtual Incision has developed a very novel in vivo robot assisted surgical system for minimally invasive general surgery abdominal procedures, such as colon resections. About two-thirds of colon resection procedures are performed via open surgery with an eight- to 12-inch incision and several weeks of recovery time. 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 full visualization.  Synectic Product Development was approached to develop a family of single use disposable end effectors, that can grasp, seal, cut, and dissect during robotic surgery. The biggest challenge was developing a system that eliminates the possibility of a short circuit in order to meet ISO 60601 testing. 

surgical robot end effectors

VIC end effectors

Synectic's solution

Synectic started by utilizing our engineer's past knowledge and experience within the electrothermal, vascular sealing, and hemostasis market to complete 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 mechanical engineers eliminated any "dead-space" in the design, removing potential for fluid build-up that could ingress into the robot and create a short circuit. An added advantage was that the overall device was able to be miniaturized to an optimal size. Materials were selected to prevent electrical current arcing between jaws and maximize biocompatibility. Under full regulatory compliant quality documentation control the design was verified and the processes validated. Finally packaging was designed and tested to handle shipping and sterilization parameters required of the robotic surgery end effectors. 


The result

  • Several different varieties of disposable end effectors for grasping, sealing, cutting, and dissecting.
  • An extremely small bipolar system that meets ISO 60601 testing. 
surgical robot arm

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