Endoscopic additive manufacturing of biomaterials
An articulating end effector for additive manufacturing that utilizes robot-assisted endoscopic surgery to implant synthetic tissues at local defects through “keyhole” incisions in patients.
Robot-assisted surgery, tissue engineering, and additive manufacturing (AM) are emerging techniques in healthcare. Currently AM is used to develop synthetic tissues and organs, but open surgery is typically used to implant these scaffolds within the patient. This invasive procedure can subject patients to infection and other morbidities. Minimally invasive robot-assisted surgeries utilize smaller incisions resulting in less stress on the body are generally availablee, but current technologies are not capable of implanting tissues with robotics.
Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by David Hoelzyl, have proposed an AM articulating end-effector developed for minimally invasive robot-assisted surgery to implant synthetic tissues within a patient. The technology utilizes medical imaging and computer-aided design (CAD) to design the synthetic construct prior to surgery. During surgery, the robot or surgeon guides the end-effector into the body through a small keyhole incision, and the computer-controlled device uses the CAD design to print the tissue or organ inside the body.