Tissue cutting with micro-serrated biopsy punches

[+] Author and Article Information
Marco Giovannini

Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208

Huaqing Ren

Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208

Xingsheng Wang

Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208

Kornel Ehmann

ASME Member, Northwestern University, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4037726 History: Received March 16, 2017; Revised August 07, 2017


This paper investigates the application of bio-inspired serrated cutting edges in tissue cutting by biopsy punches (BPs) to reduce the insertion force. Biopsy punches are medical devices, which are frequently used as a diagnostic tool in many minimally invasive procedures, for both tissue extraction and the delivery of medical fluids. The proposed work is inspired by the mosquito's maxilla that features micro-serrations on its cutting edges with the purpose of painlessly puncturing the human skin. The objective of this paper is to study the application of maxilla-like micro-serrations on commercial biopsy punches. The fundamental goal is the minimization of the puncture force at the biopsy punch tip during insertion procedures. Micro-serrations were created on the cutting edge by using a picosecond laser while cutting tests were implemented on a customized testbed on phantom tissue. A reduction of 20~30% in the insertion forces has been achieved with micro-serrated punches characterized by different texture depths encouraging, thereby, further studies and applications in biomedical devices. 3D and 2D finite element simulations were also developed to investigate the impact of micro-serrated cutting edges on the stresses in the contact area during soft tissue cutting.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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