[2021] Gripe-Needle: A Sticky Suction Cup Gripper Equipped Needle for Targeted Therapeutics Delivery


This paper presents a multi-purpose gripping and incision tool-set to reduce the number of required manipulators for targeted therapeutics delivery in Minimally Invasive Surgery. We have recently proposed the use of multi-arm Concentric Tube Robots (CTR) consisting of an incision,a camera, and a gripper manipulator for deep orbital interventions, with a focus on Optic Nerve Sheath Fenestration (ONSF). The proposed prototype in this research, calledGripe-Needle, is a needle equipped with a sticky suction cup gripper capable of performing both gripping of target8tissue and incision tasks in the optic nerve area by exploiting the multi-tube arrangement of a CTR9for actuation of the different tool-set units. As a result, there will be no need for an independent gripper arm for an incision task. The CTR innermost tube is equipped with a needle, providing the11pathway for drug delivery, and the immediate outer tube is attached to the suction cup, providing the suction pathway. Based on experiments on various materials, we observed that adding a13sticky surface with bio-inspired grooves to a normal suction cup gripper has many advantages such as, (i) enhanced adhesion through material stickiness and by air-tightening the contact15surface, (ii) maintained adhesion despite internal pressure variations, e.g. due to the needle16motion, and (iii) sliding resistance. Simple Finite Element and theoretical modeling frameworks are proposed, based on which a miniature tool-set is designed to achieve the required gripping18forces during ONSF. The final designs were successfully tested for accessing the optic nerve of a19realistic eye phantom in a skull eye orbit, robust gripping and incision on units of a plastic bubble wrap sample, and manipulating different tissue types of porcine eye samples

Frontiers in Robotics and AI
Zisos Mitros, PhD
Zisos Mitros, PhD
Test Engineer

Zisos’ research interests include robotics, mechanical design and modelling and control.