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Micro-scale thermal tissue gripper.

Minim Invasive Ther Allied Technol 2009, vol. 18, issue 1

During eye surgery translocating a graft of retinal tissue without damaging the vulnerable top layer is highly problematic using the currently available instruments. This study presents indirect Heat Induced Attachment and Detachment (HIAD) as a new concept for single side attachment of tissue to, and detachment from a heated metal wire. A small-scale prototype was built, having a 50 mum molybdenum wire that could be heated via an electric current. Tests (n = 60) were performed on submerged chicken meat to study the attachment and detachment properties of the prototype at different electric signal lengths. A 9V signal was applied to the prototype, with amplifier input signal lengths varying from 0.6-1.5 ms. Voltages and currents were sampled at 250 kHz to obtain energies. Both attachment and detachment occurred with 98% and 90% certainty, respectively, supplying 41 and 110 mJ of energy to the prototype in 0.7 and 1.5 ms. The attachment strength was estimated at 0.2 mN. Visible damage appeared to be approximately 0.005 mm(2). The concept of indirect heating of the instrument-tissue interface proved to be effective as the prototype could induce attachment and detachment of tissue. Indirect HIAD may be applicable in many different surgical applications.

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