Laparoscopic surgery often requires folds of tissue to be clamped together to occlude the flow of blood or other fluids through anatomical lumens. The tissues are held together by surgical clips loaded into the jaw of an applicator. The clip applicators contain a magazine of surgical clips that can be fired in succession. A conventional laparoscopic clip applicator system deploys a clip that has a standard profile with a nominal width of only 1mm. Although these surgical clips are ideal for ligating tubular structures, they are not designed to compress significant areas of tissue. In addition, when conventional clips are loaded into the jaw that is longitudinal to the shaft of the instrument, it imposes a limit on the width of the clip to fit within the cross sectional footprint of the clip applicator. These challenges have been addressed by a novel innovative applicator that will enhance the functionality of the laparoscopic clip with greater performance in tissue compression.
The key features of this technology include:
- Elongated clip with multiple bracings to allow for a greater degree of clamping force to be exerted on to the tissue being clamped together.
- Single-braced clip with a T profile for large-area clamping of surgical anatomy.
- Bracing is aligned with the centreline of the clip applicator.
- Clip applicator specifically designed using spring-loaded jaws and a tendon-based system to rotate the clip within the abdomen.
- Clips demonstrated superior clamping force and increased burst pressure resistance to standard ligation clips in ex vivo testing
The design features improve clip retention, and ensure that the clip deforms in a controlled manner and it remains parallel under deformation. An additional consideration of a rotatable clipping system is the need for features that not only retain the clips in the jaws of the device but that also allows torque to be transmitted to the clip in order for it to be rotated in a controlled manner. Plus, the design also allows the use of clips of variable lengths.
- Prototype applicator and clips have been developed
- Initial ex vivo characterisation of the clips has been performed
Intellectual property information
Patents applications published as: WO2018069690A1; EP3525689A1 and US2020038029A1.
Link to published paper(s)
Erridge, S., Payne, C. and Sodergren, M., 2019. Novel clip applicator for minimally invasive surgery. Surgical Endoscopy, 33(8), pp.2710-2718. (https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s00464-019-06860-5.pdf)
Dr. Mikael Sodergren: Academic Clinical Lecturer in Surgery at Imperial College London with a special interest in clinical translation of innovative technology and novel surgical techniques.
Dr. Christopher Payne: Mechanical engineer and post-doctoral research fellow at Harvard University with an interest in technological innovation in minimally invasive surgery and medical robotics.