Bionic Design of a Disposable Compliant Surgical Forceps With Optimized Clamping Performance

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2020 Jul;2020:4704-4707. doi: 10.1109/EMBC44109.2020.9176027.


Disposable forceps are frequently used in different surgical procedures to prevent infections caused by poorly sterilized reusable metal forceps. Compared to traditional rigid-joint mechanisms, compliant mechanisms are much easier to sterilize due to their monolithic structure, hence they are widely used for designing disposable surgical forceps. However, the clamping performance of plastic compliant forceps is generally less robust than metal forceps, which has greatly limited their use in medical applications. To cope with this problem, a novel 3D-printed plastic compliant forceps with optimized clamping performance was developed in this paper for open surgery and physical nursing applications. Bio-inspired topology optimization techniques were employed to synthesize the forceps. The clamping capability of the proposed forceps was evaluated by finite element analysis and loading tests. Results showed that the proposed forceps can generate greater and more stable clamping forces than the previous model of disposable compliant forceps. The proposed bionic optimization method also has potential for synthesizing compliant devices for robotic surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Bionics
  • Biopsy
  • Constriction
  • Disposable Equipment*
  • Equipment Reuse*
  • Surgical Instruments