Pressure Sensing Self-Retaining Retractors

Project number: 
UA Department of Biomedical Engineering
Academic year: 
When performing surgical procedures, surgeons will commonly use self-retaining retractors in order to facilitate visualization of the surgical field without the need for an assistant to retract the soft tissues. One potential complication of using self-retaining retractors is that excessive pressure can be applied to the soft tissues for extended periods of time. This can lead to problems, in particular nerve palsies that can cause pain and functional problems for patients. The purpose of this project is to design a self-retaining retractor that can measure pressure at the retainer-tissue interface. This equipment can then alert the surgeon if excessive pressure is being applied to minimize the chances of irreversible soft tissue trauma.

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