Saturday, December 30, 2017

Honeybee-Inspired Needles Decrease Insertion Force

Novel Design of Honeybee-inspired Needles for Percutaneous Procedure

Bioinspir Biomim. 2017 Dec 20

The focus of this paper is to present new designs of innovative bioinspired needles to be used during percutaneous procedures.

Insect stingers have been known to easily penetrate soft tissues. Bioinspired needles mimicking the barbs in a honeybee stinger were developed for a smaller insertion force, which can provide a less invasive procedure. Decreasing the insertion force will decrease the tissue deformation, which is essential for a more accurate targeting. In this study, some design parameters, in particular, barb shape and geometry (i.e., front angle, back angle, and height) were defined and their effects on the insertion force were investigated. Three-dimensional (3D) printing technology was used to manufacture bioinspired needles.

A specially-designed insertion test setup using tissue mimicking Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) gels was developed to measure the insertion and extraction forces. The barb design parameters were then experimentally modified through detailed experimental procedures to further reduce the insertion force. Different scales of the barbed needles were designed and used to explore the size-scale effect on the insertion force. To further investigate the efficacy of the proposed needle design in real surgeries, preliminary ex-vivo insertion tests into bovine liver tissue were performed.

Our results show that the insertion force of the needles in different scales decreased by 21-35% in PVC gel insertion tests and by 46% in bovine liver tissue insertion tests.

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