Robotic System for Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery

Period of Performance: 09/01/2009 - 03/31/2010


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Spi Surgical, Inc.
1533 Magnolia Way West
Seattle, WA 98199
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of Washington
Department of Aeronautics&Astronautics, Box 352250
Seattle, WA 98195
Institution POC


Our project will focus on the development of a bendable, maneuverable, robotically-assisted endoscopic sheath, with two or more flexible video endoscopes to provide visualization, and flexible instruments which can be used inside this sheath. This will provide new ability to access difficult to reach corners not only in the field of minimal access surgery, but also during open surgery. Applications will be for treating Traumatic Brain Injury resulting from blast injuries (military and civilian) and for removal of brain and skull based tumors. SPI Surgical Inc., will collaborate with a team of surgeons and engineers from the University of Washington and UC Santa Cruz who have worked on the preliminary design of the prototypes, specifications, and testing in a cadaver laboratory for over a year. The Phase I goal for this project is to develop detailed drawings, CAD/CAM models with full emulation mode, develop an initial prototype, and perform initial experiments in four distinct areas: 1) study of access requirements and anatomical specifications in the cadaver lab, 2) Design of a steerable sheath containing guide lumens for two flexible video endoscopes and two flexible tools, 3) Design of a placement device used to clear a path as the steerable sheath is inserted, and 4) Design of steering mechanism to manipulate the flexible tools relative to the end of the sheath and each other.