Design of multifunctional compliant mechanisms for minimally invasive surgery

Mary I. Frecker, R. P. Dziedzic, R. S. Haluck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Compliant mechanisms that can perform multiple unique functions have great potential for use in minimally invasive therapy. A fully compliant mechanism may be thought of as a monolithic mechanism without hinge joints which uses elastic deformation to achieve force and motion transmission. Incorporating multifunctional compliant mechanisms into minimally invasive surgical tools has many possible advantages, including reduced instrument exchanges and additional dexterity at the surgical site. Compliant mechanisms also offer the advantage of single-piece construction and ease of manufacture over their rigid-link counterparts, eliminating the need for complex millimeter-scale assembly and cleaning in hinge areas. A multicriteria topology optimization procedure for the design of multifunctional compliant mechanisms is illustrated through the design of a combination tool that will perform forceps and scissor function. A working solid model of the combination forceps/scissors has been generated based on the optimal topology. Results of detailed finite element modeling are discussed along with implications for practical manufacture and implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-319
Number of pages9
JournalMinimally Invasive Therapy and Allied Technologies
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Dec 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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