Magnetic Organ Retractor Makes Laparoscopic Surgery Easier & More Effective

A team of Vanderbilt University engineers are using magnetic force to design new and improved instruments for minimally invasive surgery. The use of magnetic actuation allows them to create tools that are more flexible and more powerful than conventional designs, which place the instruments on the end of long sticks. The first device of this type that they have designed is an organ retractor that repositions organs like the liver when required for an operation. The device's internal units do not contain any expensive and delicate electronics so they can be easily sterilized and, if manufactured in bulk, could be made inexpensively enough to be disposable.