Retractor with light & neuromonitoring

Project

The demands on retractor blades used for minimal invasive spine surgeries, in particular for a lateral access, are manifold. One of the challenges is to improve the surgeon's view of the area when preparing and implanting the spine cages. For this, disposable light sources are normally attached to the retractors. One other challenge is the machining of long channels into the blades for inserting neuromonitoring probes during surgery. 

Objectives

Innovative solutions can contribute to added safety when carrying out challenging procedures in the operating theater and thus also lead to increased patient benefits. Safe and sustainable solutions for modern surgery ultimately lead to improved and more efficient treatment options for patients. One example of this was too develop the integration of added values and benefits by using Gsell’s unique carbon molding technology in order to achieve improved high quality solution for carbon blades:

  • 100% radiolucent
  • High stiffness
  • Integrated fiber optics
  • In-molding of neuromonitoring channel
  • Resistance against steam sterilization
  • Biocompatibility
Wundspreizer, Karbonfaser, Metallsubstitution, Metallersatz

Achievements

Gsell engineer’s has successfully developed a proprietary system where fiber optics can be integrated during the compression molding process. The taffest technical challenge was that the fiber optic light guides must be able to withstand process temperatures of up to 400 °C and remain intact during molding at very high pressures.  Furthermore, a smart tooling concept allowed to in-mold long channels into the blades. The final blade design  out of carbon long fiber reinforced PEEK provides incredible strength and allows to connect standard couplings on cold light sources directly to the blade. In this way, the light can then be transmitted through the blade in an uninterrupted channel for the light guides. In addition, space for inserting a neuromonitoring probe is through the in-molded channel in the blade as well available.

Bone clamp

Project

Design conversion of an existing metal bone clamp into a radiolucent carbon fiber-reinforced instrument for use in stabilization of a fracture or osteotomy.

Objectives

  • Curved jaws with small tips for best access to operation area
  • X-ray transparency, incl. ratchet
  • Usability identical to a metal bone clamp
  • Autoclavability
  • Biocompatibility

Achievements

  • Perfect radiolucency due to complete avoidance of any metal parts
  • Conceptual proposal with functional and visual models , incl. manufacturing concepts
  • 3D models and conceptual drawings
  • 3D printed prototypes
  • Detachable two-part design for optimal cleaning
  • Achieved autoclavability and biocompatibility
  • Highest strength by the use of compression molded carbon long fiber-reinforced PEEK
  • Pre-determined breaking point to avoid overload
  • Material appropriate design for jaw teeth
  • Design, manufacturing, and optimization of production means
  • CNC-machining with assembly and finishing
  • Met target price

Retractor

Project

Development support and manufacturing of radiolucent retractors for shoulder surgery.

Objectives

  • Analogous design to metal retractor
  • High mechanical strength
  • Low instrument weight
  • Resistance against steam sterilization
  • Biocompatibility
  • Manufacturing of several retractor types in parallel

Achievements

  • Conceptual 3D models and part drawings
  • Design, manufacturing, and optimization of production means
  • Multi-cavity compression molding tool with sliders
  • Multiaxial near-net shape compression molding
  • CNC finishing operation
  • Part weight only 60 g or 0.13 lb.
  • Sterilization trials
  • Target price fulfilled within the lead-time

Gsell Medical Plastics AG
Gsell Engineering Plastics AG
Pilatusstrasse 32
CH-5630 Muri
Switzerland

+41 56 67540 40

info@STOP-SPAM.gsell.ch