Origami Inspires Tiny Medical Devices

Origami Inspires Tiny Medical Devices

One of the reasons the medical industryis interested in origami is to create devices that are smaller.

They wanted anew concept not just a smaller device but a new way to think about the devices.

Origami is often useful in medicine for much the same reason that it's useful inspace.

If you have something that is flat and sheet-like but you want to get into thebody, you want it to go in through as small hole as possible.

Doctors are always looking for some kindof way to be less invasive or to be more precise.

Or perhaps to do surgeries thatrequire more precision maybe working with nerves or something that is verysmall.

BYU has recently entered into anagreement with Intuitive Surgical Incorporated to license patents ondevices that have been developed in our lab.

Intuitive Surgical is a company thatmakes the DaVinci robot that does surgeries robotically.

Here we can see one of theircurrent devices that used to grasp things or to hold a needle to do suturing.

The initial inspiration for the grasping device we worked on was an origami patternthe people commonly called "chompers.

" Here is a large scale prototype that wasbased on some origami ideas of reducing the part count.

So you can see that here we justhave this 3-D printed plastic and here we've actually moved to 3-D printed in stainless steel and we're able to make parts at this 4 millimeter scale.

3-D printing allows us to experiment with a shape or prototype very quickly.

I can havean idea from the computer to the 3-D printer into our lab for a look in lessthan a day.

We have about a third or fourth of the number of parts of acurrent device, so many fewer parts.

And the parts we have, the complexity of theparts is lower.

Our big idea is that we can make things smaller and smaller byusing inspiration of things like origami that are very simple.

So instead of tryingto make their complexity smaller and smaller, we're going for simplicity early.

These new devices that we've created to enable robotic surgery at smaller scalesto be less invasive, we really feel like going to make a big difference.

Source: Youtube