MECHANOCHROMIC PRESSURE SENSOR FOR SAFE AND EFFECTIVE TISSUE HANDLING IN MINIMALLY INVASIVE SURGERY
A mechanochromic, biocompatible, and reversible indicator for providing the surgeon with visual indication of the force applied upon a tissue to prevent damages and bleeding. The sensor does not require electronics, changes color when reached a predetermined safe-damage threshold, and can be easily integrated on existent trocar in minimally invasive (robotic) surgery.
In this invention, we address the issue of safe and effective interaction between a teleoperated tool and a tissue introducing an emerging technology that returns visual force feedback without electronics. Safe interaction refers to insignificant damage or trauma during involvement of a manipulated tissue or organ. Whereas effective interaction means a successful and sufficient grasp of tissue or organ without slippage. To accomplish this challenging issue an industrial tool (Cadiere Forceps by Intuitive Surgical) has been fully integrated with a soft grasper (WO2019155316A1 from IIT) and a mechanochromic polymeric component at the back of the tool tip acting as a smart responsive compact-size visual-tactile indicator. The sudden changing coloration of the mechanochromic equipment reverberates in a time-reversible compact optical switch, as a result of the induced gripping force while the adaptable grasper is engaging the soft body. TRL4/5.
- Teleoperated surgical operation;
- Smart windows;
- Smart and color changing textiles;
- Touch sensors in robotics;
- Visual force feedback without electronics and cables;
- Color changing easily detectable with the camera during surgery;
- Time reversible color changing.