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Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Project




Human engineering, Biomedical engineering, Biomechanics, Laparoscopes, Robotics in medicine, Laparoscopic surgery, Surgical instruments and apparatus, Ergonomics, Surgery, Hand held device, Hand held, Device, Surgeons, Biomedical, Engineering, Robotics, Laparoscopic


Over the past two decades, laparoscopic surgery has developed into a popular and widely used alternative to open surgery for its numerous benefits to patients such as minimal tissue injury and shortened recovery periods. As surgical operations demand surgeons to frequently engage in hand intensive activities including suturing and grasping, medical personnel involved in these procedures face greater risks of developing musculoskeletal disorders associated with extended periods of physical activity and poor ergonomic designs of medical devices. Lack of tactile feedback, limited degrees of freedom, and inadequate handle design of handheld laparoscopic instruments contribute to increased hand and wrist strain which over time may result in future health ailments. While surgical robotic systems have introduced new technologies that are more ergonomically suitable for surgeons such as controllers and advanced video displays capable of improving dexterity and line of vision, there are still opportunities to refine surgical systems for meeting surgeons' needs. This report presents a research study analyzing the ergonomics of Covidien's Lapro-ClipTM clip applier, a medical device used to ligate blood vessels during laparoscopic surgery. An Arduino Uno microprocessor and four force sensitive resistors obtained force measurements of eight female subjects during grasping and squeezing activities with the Lapro-ClipTM handles. A linear regression analysis found no evidence of a statistically significant relationship between force measurements and hand characteristics. However, the study was limited to the number of participants, measurement error, recruitment bias, and force sensor sensitivity. A study with more subjects and more sensitive force sensitive resistors may provide more information for surgical device handle design.




iii, 54 pages : illustrations (some color). Honors project-Smith College, 2015. Includes bibliographical references (pages 22-23)