Date of Award

12-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Electrical Engineering

Committee Member

Dr. Richard Groff, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Ravikiran Singapogu

Committee Member

Dr. Ian Walker

Abstract

There have been tremendous technological advancements in the field of surgery with new devices and minimally invasive techniques rapidly being developed. As a result, there is a corresponding need to train novice surgeons and residents to use these new technologies. Due to new regulations in medical education, an increasing the amount of surgical skills training is designed for outside the operation room using surgical simulators. In this work, a device called the suture platform was conceptualized for assessing and training basic suturing skills of medical students and novice surgeons. In the traditional approach of “open” surgery, which has not benefitted as much from simulation, suturing is one of the most foundational surgical maneuvers. The specific task developed on the suture platform is called radial suturing and was prescribed by expert surgeons as one of five core “open” vascular skills. In the initial phase of the platform development, a six-axis force sensor was used to obtain data on the device and the procedure was video-recorded for analysis. Pilot data was analyzed using force-based parameters (e.g. peak force) and temporal parameters with the goal of examining if experts were distinguished from novices. During analysis, it became apparent that future development of the device should focus on obtaining synchronized data from video and other sensors. In the next phase of development, a motion sensor was added to capture wrist motion of the trainee and to obtain richer information of the suturing process. The current system consists of a graphical user interface (GUI) that captures data during a radial suturing task that can be analyzed using force, motion and vision metrics to assess and inform surgical suturing skill training.

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