Even though technological advances have increased the application area of minimally invasive surgery (MIS), there are still hurdles to allow for widespread adoption for more complex procedures. The development of steerable instruments, in which the surgeon can alter the tip orientation, has increased the application area of MIS, but they are bulky, which limits their ability to navigate through narrow environments, and complex, which complicates miniaturization. Furthermore, they do not allow for navigating through complex anatomies. In an effort to improve the dexterity of the MIS instruments, while minimizing the outer dimensions, the previously developed cable-ring mechanism was redesigned, resulting in the thinnest, Ø2mm (Ø 1mm lumen), eight degrees-of-freedom (DOF) multisteerable tip for MIS to date. The multisteerable tip consists of four steerable segments of 2DOF stackable elements allowing for ±90 deg articulation, as well the construction of complex shapes, actuated by 16 Ø0.2mm stainless steel cables. In a proof-of-principle experiment, an ultrasound transducer and optical shape sensing (OSS) fiber were inserted in the lumen, and the multisteerable tip was used to perform scanning motions in order to reconstruct a wire frame in three-dimensional (3D). This configuration could in future be used to safely navigate through delicate environments and allow for tissue characterization. Therefore, the multisteerable tip has the potential to increase the application area of MIS in future, as it allows for improved dexterity, the ability to guide several tip tools toward the operation area, and the ability to navigate through tight anatomies.

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Keywords Forward-looking ultrasound imaging, Improved dexterity, Medical device design, Miniature (multi)steerable instruments, Minimally invasive surgery (MIS), Optical shape sensing (OSS)
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1115/1.4040636, hdl.handle.net/1765/109699
Journal Journal of Medical Devices, Transactions of the ASME
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Sakes, A, Ali, A. (Awaz), Janjic, J, & Breedveld, P. (2018). Novel miniature tip design for enhancing dexterity in minimally invasive surgery. Journal of Medical Devices, Transactions of the ASME, 12(3). doi:10.1115/1.4040636