Miniaturized cutting tool with triaxial force sensing capabilities for minimally invasive surgery

Pietro Valdastri*, Keith Houston, Arianna Menciassi, Paolo Dario, Arne Sieber, Masaru Yanagihara, Masakatsu Fujie

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper reports a miniaturized triaxial force sensorized cutting tool for minimally invasive robotic surgery. This device exploits a silicon-based microelectromechanical system triaxial force sensor that acts as the core component of the system. The outer diameter of the proposed device is less than 3 mm, thus enabling the insertion through a 9 French catheter guide. Characterization tests are performed for both normal and tangential loadings. A linear transformation relating the sensor output to the external applied force is introduced in order to have a triaxial force output in real time. Normal force resolution is 8.2 bits over a force range between 0 N and 30 N, while tangential resolution is 7 bits over a range of 5 N. Force signals with frequencies up to 250 Hz can successfully be detected, enabling haptic feedback and tissue mechanical properties investigation. Preliminary ex vivo muscular tissue cutting experiments are introduced and discussed in order to evaluate the device overall performances.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)206-211
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Medical Devices, Transactions of the ASME
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2007 Sept

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biomedical Engineering
    • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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