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A Study of the Forces on the Small Intestine From a Novel Suction Based Approach for Robotic Endoscopic Locomotion

[+] Author Affiliations
Roberto Montane, Jr., Mihir S. Wagh, Carl D. Crane, III

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Paper No. IMECE2009-10395, pp. 31-38; 8 pages
  • ASME 2009 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 2: Biomedical and Biotechnology Engineering
  • Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA, November 13–19, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4375-8 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3863-1
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


Many studies have been published regarding robotic endoscopes, however, very little has been done to quantify their effects on the intestine [1]. Here, the use of suction to hold onto the small intestine is investigated. These results will be used to develop an endoscope that is capable of being advanced deep into the small bowel. Prototype suction devices have been designed and various rigid suction tips tested on swine cadaveric intestines. Testing consisted of applying vacuum pressure to suction tips within the intestine. Suction tips were pulled in a shearing method against segments of swine intestine. Measurement data acquired determined parameters which generated the greatest amount of holding force while minimizing tissue damage. Vacuum pressures from 64 kPa–85 kPa were applied to suction tips. The measured force increased from 1.62 Newton (6 oz) to 3.89 Newton (14 oz) with increasing vacuum pressure. Even at the highest vacuum pressure employed (85 kPa) there were no visible signs of intestinal trauma. A maximum force of 3.89 Newton (14 oz) could be attained from a single tip. During in-situ experiments this method advanced the endoscope 25cm into the small intestine.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME



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