Evaluation of an improved suspension system concept for surgical luminaires

Arjan J. Knulst*, Jan Jouke Harms, Jenny Dankelman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Surgeons have indicated ergonomic problems with the surgical luminaire, which have been observed to occur during repositioning. The possibility of singularity, within the movement space of the translational subsystem of the current double-arm suspension systems, is confirmed to be the cause of these problems. In this study, a redesign of the translational subsystem is compared to the conventional translational subsystem. A user experiment with 14 participants is setup to compare the redesigned and alternative system. The experiment is performed outside the operating room (OR), with one setup that can be altered between two designs; an uncoupled state with the kinematics of the conventional subsystem, and a coupled state with the redesigned kinematics. Work cost, duration, and jerk cost are compared, as well as NASA TLX score. The work cost of a movement in the conventional uncoupled state is confirmed to depend on the spatial orientation of the mechanism, which is not the case in the new coupled state. Due to these different kinetics, the movement patterns with the coupled mechanism are more consistent between participants, the duration of movements is shorter, less problems occur, and participants are able to better control the movements as demonstrated by lower jerk costs. This result validates the redesign and confirms the hypothesis that a translational subsystem without the possibility of singularity within its movement space will improve luminaire repositioning. The conceptual design can now be used as base for a clinically usable design.

Original languageEnglish
Article number021007
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Medical Devices, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care

Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Design
  • End effectors
  • Friction
  • Kinematics
  • Surgery
  • Suspension systems
  • Rails
  • Collisions (Physics)


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