Summer Internships – Final Blog

Final blog post

In the last couple of weeks we have been manufacturing our final prototypes in preparation for cadaveric testing, fabricating the improved silicon training device and creating a short video summarising our project.  Our final cadaveric testing day was at the end of the 8 week internship.

Final prototype

This is the final prototype we used in the cadaveric testing.  We made two sets of the components in case any part failed in the testing.  For this prototype we decided to manufacture the pins out of steel rods as oppose to aluminium.  This was to improve the overall strength of the design.

We had five different springs of varying stiffness, each spring had a set of pipes.  For each spring we calibrated the system and created a scale on the inner pipe with red and green tape.  The green tape indicated an applied force of below 135 N and the red tape of above 135 N.

For the smaller components such as the steel rods we made 5 different copies to avoid any complications during testing.


Final prototype









Silicon model 

This is our improved training device.  The purpose of this is to work as an alternative to the fabric box trainer and to work as a model of the abdominal to train people to use the gasless laparoscopic lift equipment.  It is fabricated from a composite of silicon and spandex, plywood and Perspex.

Cadaveric testing

We asked 6 surgeons to all carry out a conventional laparoscopic surgery and a surgery using the lift equipment, with our load meter device.  The load cell was used to measure the force applied to the abdominal wall.  After the initial insufflation, the geometry of the abdomen was scanned using Artec Spider 3D scanner.  When the surgeons were happy with the cavity and field of view given from the lift device the force on the abdominal wall was recorded using the load cell, the 3D scanner was then used to record the geometry of the enlarged abdomen.   Throughout the day we collected lots of evidence which we are excited to evaluate in the future.

The last 8 weeks have been such an interesting insight to the world of research, we have all very much enjoyed the project and are very thankful for the opportunity!