MedSim

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    Upon our first trip to the Beth Israel Deaconess hospital in Boston, we got to see a simulative surgery in progress. We wandered around the room watching the surgeons operate on a mannequin with a human-like body. We got to looked at everything in the operating room, from the computer equipment to a complex table with an assortment of different surgical tools. Our studio was focused on designing new tools and devices that would improve the current state of the surgical art, or focus on accessibility and cost efficiency. We remembered back to being in the operating room with various different tools scattered on the table and decided to create a product that would organize these tools in a more efficient way.

    Surprisingly, our final iteration looked vastly similar to the initial concept sketches. We wanted to make a device that would be both simple but effective for surgeons. In that thought, we came up with a large cylinder to hold the tools, some sort of plate to keep fluids from leaking, and a large base to hold it all. We focused on both the design of the structure and 3d printed hooks that would hold each tool.  Our initial prototype was small, but thoroughly represented what we wanted to see for our final. This model was created out of cardboard and paper. For our final iteration, we wanted a stronger and larger model, so we began by enlarging the size of the cylinder, along with the size of the plate and base. The expanded size would allow for storage of more tools (up to 14) for the use of the surgeon. Before printing it out on wood, we did so on cardboard to assure that our measurements and tests were fully accurate. We also spent a lot of time 3d printing different versions of hooks that would support different tools. We focused on the scalpel, tweezers, forceps, and scissors. Each hook is made specifically for the type of tool it holds.

    We believe our device is a highly useful option for surgeons to consider when performing simulative surgeries. It not only reduces the amount of people required to operate the tools by allowing the surgeon to choose tools upon thought, rather than having to call for one but, organizes the tools very neatly.

     

  • In hospitals, surgeons use special mannequins with simulated body parts in order practice or learn certain surgeries. Unfortunately, these simulations take upwards of two weeks to create, and need to be remade every time. Our project aimed to speed up that process by 3D printed molds and fast drying silicon to create fake organs more quickly.

     

        Currently, medical simulations take about two weeks to create. On top  of that, once the simulation is used, they need to completely remake the simulation for anyone to use it. With faster creation of these simulations, surgeons would be able to practice operations more often, lowering the chance of failure in actual surgeries. Additionally, this would  give med-students more opportunities to practice these vital procedures, getting into the field a little faster.

     

        In our process, we spent most of the first week experimenting with materials for the fake organs, with a visit to reynolds advanced materials to see what we could work with. I spent most of the time 3D modeling molds for all the main abdominal organs. In the meantime, Aidan became our materials expert, working with the skin primarily. Aveen on the other hand, primarily worked on creating the abdominal cavity. In the end, we didn’t have time to print the molds for every organ, although we had every mold ready digitally. Due to that unfortunate snag in the development, we were only able to create three molds that we could use. Sadly, because of this, we didn’t have any time to practice molding any organs, and ran into problems while molding the final pieces.

     

  • Medical simulations are important tools that allow students to practice surgeries. However, they are incredibly expensive, making it difficult for many students to gain the firsthand knowledge of surgery in school. Our discount dummy is designed to be a cheaper model of a cesarean section simulation. In many parts of the world, c-sections aren't used frequently due to a lack of knowledge and supplies, resulting in problems during pregnancy or even death. Our simulation educates students on various problems with pregnancy that result in a c-section procedure. By making our simulation cheaper, we hope to expand the number of people who can be educated on the importance of c-sections by making surgical simulations a more accessible teaching tool. 

    Our discount dummy currently has four main parts: the abdomen, uterus, placenta, and baby. The abdomen and uterus were modeled in Rhino and then milled on NuVu's CNC machine. Afterward, we vacuum formed both the uterus and placenta to make hollow pieces that stayed in the shape we were looking for. This method of creating the uterus and abdomen allowed us to achieve the exact shape we were looking for while only using a few pieces of plastic in the actual product. The placenta is made of fabric, stuffing, and velcro, allowing it to un-attach from the abdomen and lose pieces during the surgery process, a common problem in c-section procedures. The baby is made of laser cut wood and covered in fabric and stuffing. 

  • Many births require c-sections. However, the procedures are unavailable in many parts of the world due to a lack of education and infrastructure, causing many birthing problems and in some cases death. Educating surgeons is difficult because the simulation dummies on the market sell for around $100,000 and are therefore not viable tools for many schools to use.

    Our solution to this issue is to create an affordable simulation designed to teach students how to deal with problems during a c-section surgery. Our simulation is made of cheap materials: plastic, fabric, velcro, and just two replaceable sections for the incisions.

    Inspired by already existing c-section simulations and molds for organs, we designed an abdomen piece that has one cutable section where the surgeon can make an incision in the skin. We then designed the uterus, baby, and placenta to fit inside the abdomen.

    After thinking about all these parts, we came to the conclusion that the easiest way to fabricate them would be with the CNC machine and vacuum former. Because both the abdomen and uterus have to be hollow for other parts to fit inside of them, creating a CNC mold of the exact shape we were looking for made the most sense.

    We then modeled our uterus and abdomen in Rhino and milled them on the CNC machine. Since we had to use thin foam for our molds, we ended up slicing both the molds into multiple pieces for the machine. Afterward, we brought the models to Beaver to use the school’s vacuum former. While all of this was happening, we also created our placenta, baby, and cutable skin and uterus pieces from cheap materials to prepare for the final assembly.

    With the parts put together, students can practice a lifelike the c-section surgery by cutting through the silicone pieces of the skin and uterus and then pulling the baby and placenta through.

  • As an introduction to the project we took a trip to beth Israel hospital. There we observed a surgery on a fake dummy. We had the privilege of entering into an operating room and watch as the surgeons preformed the operation. The surgeon explained what he was doing and showed us the different tools and instruments used for the procedure. 

     

     

     

    The goal of this slide was to present the problem and solution of the project. We developed a device that limited tremors in the hand intended for surgeons. This instrument could also be used for people who suffer from Parkinson’s.

     

     

     

    Our First precedent was the wrist brace. The issue with the wrist band was that we did not want to limit hand movement like a splint. We only wanted to remove the tremor. 

     

     

     

    Our second precedent and inspiration for the project was a glove with a gyroscope. This model would eliminate tremors in the hand. When the hand moved a certain way the gyroscope would move the opposite way creating a limiting movement. The issue with this model is that it would be too big for a surgeon to wear and would impact the arm movement immensely.

     

     

     

    This was a picture of our first sketch of the project. We wanted to have a aluminum glove that would rap around the entire hand. Unfortunately we realized that idea was not helpful and actually restricted hand movement. It was imperative to eventually switch to a rubber material making the glove more flexible. Our goal was to keep hand movement but limit the tremors. 

     

     

     

    This sketch was a picture of the forearm and the individual bones that connected the wrist to the elbow. There are two bones in the forearm and when they rotate one of the bones overlap. In order to have a system that stayed put and didn't move along with that rotation, we added a structure that connected the hand piece to a strap around the bicep. There would be a wooden bar or plank connecting the glove with the strap around the bicep. 

     

     

     

    For our first iteration, we wanted to restrict side to side movement of the hand. We used cardboard which we laser cut, two screws, and velcro to make a design that would stop any horizontal movement but allow vertical movement.

     

     

     

    It was then that we began to study the movement of how a person tremors, and we began trying to restrict rotational movement. We extended our structure up the forearm, using wooden planks and velcro to try and completely stop the arm from rotating.

     

     

     

    For our third iteration, we replaced cardboard with aluminum for the hand piece and extended it all the way up to the bicep. We did this because we saw that when the forearm was rotating, the bicep was orating less so we planed that if we connected them, the rotational and movement would stop. We used dowels to connect the hand and bicep parts, and velcro to attach it to the forearm.

     

     

     

    For our last iteration before our final, we changed the idea. Instead of trying to completely restricting rotational movement, we truly were aiming for a design that would limit tremors. Dr. Feldman gave us the idea of making a gyroscope-type device where a weight would go the opposite direction of the hand. We did this by making a tray out of aluminum where a weight would be placed. We also changed the aluminum frame for the hand to rubber, and changed the dowels to wooden planks.

     

     

     

    Here you can see the rubber brace that goes around the hand, the wooden planks that attach to the bicep, and aluminum plates that add some support to the rubber structure. 

     

     

     

    For the final, we changed the aluminum tray to a wooden, cylindrical cage with ball bearings inside. If the hand rotates slowly to either side, the balls will also go that direction. But if the hand moves quickly one way, then quickly the other way, the balls will still be moving in that same direction, causing the hand to slow down and not tremor.

     

     

     

    As you can see on our final images, we used a rubber hand brace, the wooden cage to restrict rotational tremors, and wooden planks that runs up the arm. We also added rubber along the arm piece to make it more comfortable.

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  • In this studio students work with surgical simulation and devices. 

    Students get to visit the Beth Israel Hospital Simulation Lab, where they learn about standard practices and current methods for surgical simulations and operations, and they refresh their anatomy knowledge.

    During the studio, they will design new tools and devices, either improving the current state of the art, or focusing on accessibility and cost efficiency.

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