Vanderbilt researchers have a novel optical injector that combines the injection apparatus with an endoscope, thereby allowing the surgeon to have a free hand for manipulation of tissues around the injection site without having to use an operating microscope.
The tissue of the human body is separated by planes separated by minimal fluid, and it is often desirable to enter into the space between these planes to perform procedures including delivery or removal of fluid/therapeutics. Accurately and harmlessly placing catheters within these planes is very difficult because of the very close proximity of the tissues -- often within 1mm. The Transductive Access Catheter System solves these problems by allowing the operator to insert a shallow beveled needle into the space of interest using a hollow inner catheter that is filled with saline to probe much like a micro water hammer to detect difference in resistance to flow at the tip of the catheter. The primary competing technology uses suction to pull on the outer tissue which increases the target space volume at the catheter; however this has limitations of tissue rigidity and thickness (PerDUCER, Comedicus). Due to the versatility across disciplines, a wide variety of applications for this catheter exist, which include: Pericardial Space Infusion or Drainage, Pleural Space Infusion or Drainage, Subdural and Epidural Infusion, and Intraocular Fluid Space Infusion or Drainage.
Vanderbilt researchers have designed a low-cost, point-of-care device that non-invasively monitors peripheral venous pressure (PVP) to ensure proper placement of peripheral intravenous (PIV) catheters in patients. Use of this device will ensure proper administration of intravenous fluids and intravenous drugs. The device will also prevent the administration of fluid and potent pharmacologic agents into the subcutaneous tissue or fascia, commonly known as "IV infiltration."
A team of Vanderbilt engineers and surgeons have developed a new steerable needle that can make needle based biopsy and therapy delivery more accurate. A novel flexure-based tip design provides enhanced steerability while simultaneously minimizing tissue damage. The present device is useful for almost any needle-based procedure including biopsy, thermal ablation, brachytherapy, and drug delivery.
A team of Vanderbilt engineers has developed an advanced control system that is a first-ever 3D control system for delivering a bevel-based steerable needle to its intended target. The controller is also useful for (a) following a desired curved path through tissue; (b) accurately placing the needle tip at the physician's desired target, and (c) reaching obstructed targets using non-straight paths. Experiments in phantom tissue and ex-vivo liver have validated the concept. Experiments with targets that move due to tissue deformation have also been successful.
Inventors at Vanderbilt University have developed a non-robotic dexterous laparoscopic manipulator with a wrist providing seven-degrees-of-freedom. It provides an interface which intuitively maps motion of the surgeon's hands to the tool's "hands".
A team of Vanderbilt engineers and surgeons has developed a novel bone and tissue graft placement device, primarily for use in the nasal and skull base cavities. The device uses a unique grasping technique to provide control and finesse in the placement of such grafts in addition to combining the roles of multiple instruments into a single device. The clinical purpose of this tool is to provide surgeons with an instrument that can grasp, place, and manipulate rigid and non-rigid graft materials in a controlled manner for skull base reconstruction; such control is very desirable in order to recreate a sound bony barrier that separates the intracranial and extracranial spaces.
This invention presents a robotic wrist and gripper that operate with three independent degrees of freedom (yaw, pitch and roll) for increased dexterity in minimally invasive surgical procedures. This is the smallest robotic wrist of its kind, and due to its size and unparalleled dexterity, this wrist enables complex surgical maneuvers for minimally invasive procedures in highly confined spaces. Examples of surgical areas benefiting from use of this wrist include natural orifice surgery, single port access surgery, and minimally invasive surgery. In particular, the proposed wrist allows for very high precision roll about the longitudinal axis of the gripper while overcoming problems of run-out motion typically encountered in existing wrists. Thus this wrist is particularly suitable for extreme precision maneuvers for micro-surgery in confined spaces.
This technology enables continuum robots (aka snake robots) to precisely navigate the intricate structures of deep anatomical passages during minimally invasive or natural orifice surgery. Collateral surgical damage is minimized by the force sensing capabilities of the algorithms used.
This technology, developed in Vanderbilt University's Advanced Robotics and Mechanism Applications Laboratory, uses a minimally invasive telerobotic platform to perform transurethral procedures, such as transurethral resection. This robotic device provides high levels of precision and dexterity that improve patient outcomes in transurethral procedures.
Vanderbilt's ARMA laboratory has developed a robot and algorithms for surgery of the upper airways by using a trans-nasal access path. This robotic device enables office-based minimally invasive procedures in the throat and sinuses without requiring full anesthesia or a hospital stay.
Vanderbilt researchers have developed a novel method for contactless simulation of the central nervous system. This technique involves the use of infrared neural stimulation (INS) to evoke the observable action potentials from neurons of the central nervous system. While infrared neural stimulation of the peripheral nervous system was accomplished almost a decade ago, this is the first technique for infrared stimulation of the central nervous system.
A Vanderbilt engineering senior design team has developed a car seat safety attachment that detects if a child has been left unattended in a car seat and if the environment has become uncomfortably hot or cold. The system is designed with a graduated alarm system based on "alert states" that provides a combination of visual, tactile and audio alerts.