Journal Article Incompressible Liquid Based Force Sensible Silicone Retractor Attachable to Surgical Suction Instruments

Koyama, Toshio  ,  Yoneyama, Takeshi  ,  Nakada, Mitsutoshi  ,  Watanabe, Tetsuyou

This paper presents a silicone retractor, which is a continuation and extension of a previously developed system that had the same three functions as the old version: 1) retracting, 2) suction, and 3) force sensing. These features make the retractor a safe choice for use in neurosurgery. Suction is achieved by attaching the retractor to a suction pipe. The retractor has a deformation area filled with an incompressible liquid that is displaced in proportion to the extent of deformation; fiberscopes or human eyes detecting the displacement get a visual representation of the force. The new design improves on the old one in three ways—miniaturization, made possible by the incompressible-liquid-based mechanism, and measurement of force distribution by distribution of the areas deformed by force. The system was validated by conducting experiments.

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