Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Department of


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A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Mechanical Engineering, Under the Supervision of Professor Shane M. Farritor. Lincoln, Nebraska: August, 2011

Copyright 2011 Ryan L. McCormick


The shift in surgery from open procedures to minimally invasive surgery (MIS) techniques have provided benefits of decreased recovery time, improved cosmetic results, and reduced costs. As advances in MIS move to minimize the number of external incisions, such as with Laparoendoscopic Single-Site (LESS) surgery, additional complexities are introduced. These complexities, including unintuitive controls, reduced dexterity, and limited workspace, hinder these methods from more widespread implementation in more complicated surgical procedures.

Through the use of a miniature in vivo robotic surgical platform designed for LESS surgery, these complexities can be mitigated, allowing for wider adoption of MIS by placing the entire robotic platform inside the peritoneal cavity. This thesis presents the design, prototyping, and implementation of a two armed surgical robot for use in LESS procedures. Each arm of the robot will be individually inserted through a single incision in or around the umbilicus before being mated together through the use of a central assembly rod. The robotic platform will provide increased dexterity, larger workspace, and more intuitive controls as compared to currently available technologies.

A remote surgical user interface will allow the surgeon to perform surgical procedures in all quadrants of the peritoneal cavity, as is often required for surgeries such as colon resection. The feasibility of this platform has been demonstrated through multiple in vivo LESS procedures, including a cholecystectomy, colon resection, and small bowel resection in a live porcine model.

Advisor: Shane M. Farritor