Human cadavers to evaluate prototypes of minimally invasive surgical instruments: A feasibility study

Lukas van den Haak, Chantal C.J. Alleblas, Johann P T Rhemrev, Jules Scheltes, Theodoor Elbert Nieboer, Frank Willem Jansen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: New technology should be extensively tested before it is tried on patients. Unfortunately representative models are lacking. In theory, fresh frozen human cadavers are excellent models.

OBJECTIVE: To identify strengths and weaknesses of fresh frozen human cadavers as research models for new technology prior to implementation in gynecological surgery.

METHODS: During pre-clinical validation studies regarding the MobiSep uterine manipulator, test procedures were performed on fresh frozen cadavers. Both the experimental setup as the performance of the prototype were assessed.

RESULTS: Five tests including six human cadavers were performed. Major changes were made to the MobiSep prototype design. The cadavers of two tests closely resembled surgical experiences as found in live patients. The anatomy of 4 of the 6 cadavers was not fully representative due to atrophy of the internal genitalia caused by age and due to the presence of pathology such extensive tumorous tissue.

CONCLUSION: The cadaver tests provided vital information regarding design and functionality, that failed to emerge during the in-vitro testing. However, experiments are subject to anatomical uncertainties or restrictions. Consequently, the suitability of a cadaver should be carefully assessed before it is used for testing new technology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1139-1146
JournalTechnology and Health Care: official journal of the European Society for Engineering and Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • hysterectomy
  • innovation
  • Laparoscopy
  • medical devices
  • technology


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