Design, simulation and experimental analysis of a monolithic bending section for enhanced maneuverability of single use laparoscopic devices

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftForschungsartikelBeigetragenBegutachtung



Standard laparoscopes, which are widely used in minimally invasive surgery, have significant handling limitations due to their rigid design. This paper presents an approach for a bending section for laparoscopes based on a standard semi-finished tube made of Nitinol with laser-cut flexure hinges. Flexure hinges simply created from a semi-finished product are a key element for realizing low-cost compliant structures with minimal design space. Superelastic materials such as Nitinol allow the reversible strain required for this purpose while maintaining sufficient strength in abuse load cases. This paper focuses on the development of a bending section for single use laparoscopic devices (OD 10 mm) with a bending angle of 100°, which enables the application of 100 µm diameter Nitinol actuator wires. For this purpose, constructive measures to realise a required bending curvature and Finite Element Analysis for determining the strain distribution in the flexural region are applied and described for the design of the flexure hinges. In parallel, the influence of the laser-based manufacturing process on the microstructure is investigated and evaluated using micrographs. The deformation behavior of the bending section is experimentally determined using Digital Image Correlation. The required actuation forces and the failure load of the monolithic bending section is measured and compared to a state of the art riveted bending section made of stainless steel. With the developed monolothic bending section the actuation force could be reduced by 50% and the available inner diameter could be increased by 10% while avoiding the need of any assembly step.


FachzeitschriftScientific reports
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 9 Feb. 2024

Externe IDs

ORCID /0009-0000-6535-9055/work/153108826
ORCID /0000-0002-8588-9755/work/153109735
ORCID /0009-0003-9094-3722/work/153109775
ORCID /0009-0004-7408-6895/work/153110455
PubMed 38331975
Scopus 85187622588