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Rapid Prototyping, Finite Element Modeling and Validation of a 3-D Printed Disposable Overtube for Robotic Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

  • Author(s): Lee, Siu-Lim
  • Advisor(s): Talke, Frank
  • et al.

Endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) is a tissue removal technique in minimally invasive surgical treatment for cancers. According to the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), an advanced ESD training is necessary for surgeons because ESD incision techniques are difficult. The learning curve is steep and these procedures require dedicated time and effort. With the current ESD procedure, it is difficult for the surgeon to keep a clear view of the submucosal layer. Having a flexible robotic ESD device can improve the performance of a surgeon in such a complex environment.

The goal of this project is to design, manufacture, and analyze an overtube prototype for endoscopic surgery. 3-D printable polypropylene is used to manufacture a flexible overtube to be used in minimally invasive surgery. Finite element studies are implemented to evaluate the performance of the overtube and to speed up the design process. Eight unknown linear viscoelastic constants of polypropylene are identified through experimental measurements of the stress-strain characteristics using 3-D printed polypropylene specimens. The material parameters are implemented into a finite element model of a 3-D printed overtube prototype to simulate the structure.

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