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Open AccessArticle

A Force-Visualized Silicone Retractor Attachable to Surgical Suction Pipes

Institute of Science and Engineering, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa 9201192, Japan
Department of Neurosurgery, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa 9208641, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M. N. Passaro
Sensors 2017, 17(4), 773;
Received: 2 February 2017 / Revised: 25 March 2017 / Accepted: 2 April 2017 / Published: 5 April 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
This paper presents a force-visually-observable silicone retractor, which is an extension of a previously developed system that had the same functions of retracting, suction, and force sensing. These features provide not only high usability by reducing the number of tool changes, but also a safe choice of retracting by visualized force information. Suction is achieved by attaching the retractor to a suction pipe. The retractor has a deformable sensing component including a hole filled with a liquid. The hole is connected to an outer tube, and the liquid level displaced in proportion to the extent of deformation resulting from the retracting load. The liquid level is capable to be observed around the surgeon’s fingertips, which enhances the usability. The new hybrid structure of soft sensing and hard retracting allows the miniaturization of the retractor as well as a resolution of less than 0.05 N and a range of 0.1–0.7 N. The overall structure is made of silicone, which has the advantages of disposability, low cost, and easy sterilization/disinfection. This system was validated by conducting experiments. View Full-Text
Keywords: force sensor; retraction; suction; force visualization mechanism force sensor; retraction; suction; force visualization mechanism
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Watanabe, T.; Koyama, T.; Yoneyama, T.; Nakada, M. A Force-Visualized Silicone Retractor Attachable to Surgical Suction Pipes. Sensors 2017, 17, 773.

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