Design of a compliant endoscopic suturing instrument

James A. Cronin VI, Mary I. Frecker, Abraham Mathew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This paper describes the initial design and optimization of a compliant endoscopic suturing instrument. The emerging field of Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES) requires innovative instruments to meet the size limitations inherent in this type of minimally invasive surgery; using compliant mechanisms is proposed as one method of meeting this requirement. The compliant design was modeled and optimized to maximize the distal opening and provide a puncture force of at least 4.6 N, while being small enough to fit within a 3.3 mm working channel. The design utilizes contact for stress relief and intertwining parts for added deflection. ANSYS® was used for finite element analysis including contact and nonlinear deformations. A prototype was fabricated from the optimized geometry and experimentally tested. The best geometry is predicted to have a distal opening of 14.6 mm at the tips and supply a puncturing force of 4.83 N. The force supplied at the tip was measured and was found to exceed the required 4.6 N. The prototype successfully passed two complete sutures and qualitative results are provided. The results of the study will lead to further refinements and improvements in future designs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number025002
JournalJournal of Medical Devices, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering


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