Vacuum-assisted delivery is a medical procedure in which a vacuum device is used to guide the baby through the birth canal, when problems arise during the delivery. This device makes use of a hard plastic suction cup that is attached to the baby’s head. Excessive suction forces cause a cone-shaped swelling on the baby’s head, which increases the risk of bruising, bleeding in the skull and skull fracture.
In this graduation project, you will explore a 3D printed variable stiffness suction cup that can adapt to the shape of the baby’s head. You will be taking inspiration from animals with suction cups, such as the octopus, as those can perfectly adapt their discs to the objects they grasp. We want to use the form complexity of 3D printing to create the suction cup. This is an exploratory assignment, so we are looking for a creative student with an investigative, curious mind and experience with Solidworks.
This graduation assignment focuses on the design of a steerable needle for urology procedures, in specific prostate cancer treatment, with a focus on improving accuracy, precision, and patient comfort. The design of the needle will be inspired by the root system of plants, particularly how they extend and move through soil. The tip of the needle will have an extension that can be steered to the desired location within the prostate.
The assignment involves designing, developing, and testing a novel steerable needle that allows for accurate needle positioning. We are looking for a student who is interested in a design-oriented project and who can start at short notice (i.e., spring or summer 2023). For this project, creative problem solving, SolidWorks, and 3D-printing skills, and an interest in medical topics would be useful.
When a patient has a broken bone often a customized medical cast is made to immobilize that part of the body where the broken bone is located in order for the bone to heel. Every patient receives a custom made cast or a custom made splint. The cast is made by specialist in the hospital. During the heeling of the bone patients suffer from muscle atrophy because of the immobilization. This occurs typically after 5 days of immobilization. This can cause more space between the cast and part of the body of the patient where the cast is located. This can reduce the function of the cast. On the other hand is some mobilization helpful for the healing process.
In this graduation project, you will design an adjustable medical cast so that the immobilization is optimized and the muscle atrophy minimized.
When a patient has a broken bone often a customized cast is made to immobilize that part of the body where the broken bone is located in order for the bone to heel. Every patient receives a custom made cast or a custom made splint. During the phase of immobilization most patients are not hospitalized. Therefor their physician cannot monitor the heeling process of the bone. What noninvasive device could help both patient and physician to get a better insight in the heeling progress during immobilization in order to minimize the immobilization phase so that complications like muscle atrophy is minimalized?
In this graduation project, you will design a non-invasive monitoring medical cast to inform both patient and physician about the progress of the healing of the bone.
During spinal fusion surgery, multiple vertebrae are fused by fixating them together. The fixation of the vertebrae is achieved by placing screws through the pedicles of the vertebrae that are connected to rods. The fixation strength of the screw mainly relies on the contact area between the screw and the outer bone layer of the vertebra. This contact can only be achieved within the pedicle of the vertebra. However, even in the pedicle, this contact is limited due to the hourglass shape and oval cross-section of the pedicle.
In this graduation project, you will design a bone anchor that can adapt its shape in 3D to the pedicle of the vertebra to fixate to increase the contact area between the anchor and the cortical outer layer of the pedicle.
During spinal fusion surgery multiple vertebrae are fused by fixating them together. The fixation of the vertebrae is achieved by placing screws through the pedicles of the vertebrae that are connected to rods. The rods run along the vertebrae and are embedded in the surrounding soft tissue. This can result in pain and irritation for the patient.
The vertebra grow together and form one bony mass in the first six months after surgery. During this period the forces acting on the fixation are substantial during daily activities. If the screw loosen during this period, the desired fusion cannot be achieved.
In this graduation project we will set the first steps in the direction of a new fixation method that is mainly located within the vertebra. The graduation projects focuses on the development of a drilling and/or anchoring system that can be used to create the desired fixation.
The spine is the central support structure of the body that helps us humans sit, stand up and walk around, twist and bend. Age-related degeneration, but also congenital deformities can cause back pain and spinal instability, requiring surgical fixation of the spine. To guide the surgeon’s drill during spine surgery, the tissue in front of its tip is assessed with a fiber-optic sensing system, but we currently don’t know how to evaluate the recorded data.
The focus of this graduation project in collaboration with Philips Research will be to train a neural network with data from different tissues found in/around the spine to develop a classifier that will guide surgeons during spine surgery. This project does not require preliminary AI knowledge or programming skills, although knowing some python basics will be of use.
Octopuses have eight arms that are perfect for gripping rocks, catching prey, and walking along different surfaces. They do this with the suction cups that underline their arms. We are currently developing soft suction cups for stable needle insertion in flexible tissue inspired by these octopus suction cups.
Tissue motion and deformation leads to needle positioning errors. Hence, clinicians typically needle multiple attempts to position the needle at the target location. To achieve accurate needle positioning, clinicians can stabilize the tissue by gripping it. However, gripping and handling of slippery and flexible tissues during minimally invasive surgery is often challenging. Current grippers commonly use a force grip to manipulate tissue, which makes it prone to damage. Octopus-inspired suction cups integrated with a needle could be the solution that stabilizes tissue during needle insertion without damaging the tissue.
This MSc-graduation project involves designing, developing, and testing a novel stable-needle insertion device that allows for accurate needle positioning. We are searching for a student that is interested in a design-oriented project. For this project, SolidWorks, 3D-printing, and creative-problem-solving skills are useful.
Spinal fusion is one of the most common surgical procedures in the world. At the BITE group, we are developing a novel drill that allows for the surgeon to steer through the vertebra along a secure drilling trajectory, avoiding nerves and blood vessels that run along the spinal column. To help the surgeon find and maintain the right trajectory, a fiber-optic sensing system will be integrated into the drill to provide the surgeon with positional feedback in real time.
For this graduation project, inspiration will be drawn from nature to design a steerable device for spine surgery. A 3D-printed model will be built, and its usability for steering through the vertebra will be assessed.
The hand is one of the most complex structures of the human body, allowing an advanced spectrum of motion. Dupuytren’s contracture, or Dupuytren’s disease, is an abnormal thickening of the palmar fascia, just below the skin of the palm of the hand, which impairs the motion of the finger tendons, leading to loss of finger function and causing the fingers to curl.
Surgical treatment of Dupuytren’s contracture involves making an incision through the thickened palmar tissue which is then partially removed. As the hand anatomy is very delicate, with a fine network of blood vessels and small nerves leading to the fingers, there is a risk of severe complications, especially when fragile nerves under the palmar fascia are accidentally cut.
This MSc-graduation project involves the development of novel high-tech “tattoo”-based instrumentation for Dupuytren’s contracture surgery by which the risk of damaging delicate palmar structures can be totally avoided. The project will be carried out in a very close collaboration with hand surgeons from the Reinier Haga Orthopedic Center (RHOC). We are searching for a student that can start at a short term with this challenging and very interesting graduation project.