A laparoscopic morcellator redesign to constrain tissue using integrated gripping teeth

E. A. Arkenbout, L. van den Haak, Maxime Penning, Ellemijn Rog, Amanda Vierwind, L.E. van Capelle, F. W. Jansen, J. C F de Winter

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Laparoscopic hysterectomy is a procedure that involves the removal of the uterus through an abdominal keyhole incision. Morcellators have been specifically designed for this task, but their use has been discouraged by the food and drug administration (FDA) since November 2014 because of risks of cancerous tissue spread. The use of laparoscopic bags to catch and contain tissue debris has been suggested, but this does not solve the root cause of tissue spread. The fundamental problem lies in the tendency of the tissue mass outside the morcellation tube to rotate along with the cutting blade, causing tissue to be spread through the abdomen. This paper presents a bio-inspired concept that constrains the tissue mass in the advent of its rotation in order to improve the overall morcellation efficacy and reduce tissue spread. A design of gripping teeth integrated into the inner diameter of the morcellation tube is proposed. Various tooth geometries were developed and evaluated through an iterative process in order to maximize the gripping forces of these teeth. The maximum gripping force was determined through the measurement of force-displacement curves during the gripping of gelatin and bovine tissue samples. The results indicate that a tooth ring with a diameter of 15mm can provide a torque resistance of 1.9 Ncm. Finally, a full morcellation instrument concept design is provided.

Original languageEnglish
Article number011005
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Medical Devices
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Laparoscopic devices
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Morcellation
  • Tissue constraining
  • Tissue spread

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