Urology Archives

Urinary Catheter Can Flush Itself to Prevent Biofilm Infections

789555 Urinary Catheter Can Flush Itself to Prevent Biofilm Infections

The yellow cast of an innovative new catheter design created by a 3D printer is shown on the left along with the finished prototype on the right. The markings indicate the urinary duct (U), the flexible inner wall (i.w.) between the urinary duct and the inflation channel (I) and the stiff exterior wall (e.w.). Pressurizing the narrow chamber deforms the main channel, dislodging biofilm so that it can be flushed from the tube.

Urinary catheters are notorious hosts for bacterial colonies, forming biofilms that resist easy removal. These biofilms also tend to welcome pathogenic bacteria to settle nearby, causing dangerous infections and plugging the catheter lumen. Now researchers at Duke University have created a new catheter that can be easily cleansed of biofilms formed on its interior with a bit of pressure.

Previously, preventing bacterial infection within urinary catheters was thought to require anti-microbial coatings, but those can lead the bacteria to evolve into antibiotic resistant strains, creating an even bigger problem. The catheter developed at Duke instead uses physical forces to dislodge bacterial biofilms which are then flushed out along with the urine.

The silicone catheter has an additional channel within it that can be expanded by pumping air or a liquid through it. The expansion makes biofilms experience considerable mechanical forces that cause biofilms to lose their grip and pop right off. A nice flush of the catheter ferries these biofilms out and keeps the urinary channel clear. The expansion of the inner pressure channel does not widen the catheter’s external caliber, preventing any discomfort to the patient. While the first prototype has shown the ability to remove 90% of biofilms grown in the catheter’s interior, the team has plans to modify the device’s design to help make sure everything is removed.

Here’s a video of the new catheter in action:

 

Study in Advanced Healthcare MaterialsSoft Robotic Concepts in Catheter Design: an On-Demand Fouling-Release Urinary Catheter…

Duke University statement: Catheter Innovation Destroys Dangerous Biofilms…

Telelap ALF-X Endoscopic Robotic Surgical System

Telelap ALF-X Endoscopic Robotic Surgical System

Intuitive Surgical is the dominant player in robotic surgery, having developed the now famous da Vinci System that turned traditional endoscopy into a futuristic endeavor. Now we learn of a system being developed by SOFAR, an Italian pharmaceutical firm, that looks set to compete with the da Vinci.

The Telelap ALF-X features haptic feedback, allowing the surgeon to indirectly “feel” the tissues that are being manipulated. This can lead to improved safety and allow certain maneuvers to be performed with greater confidence. The system also tracks the surgeon’s eye movements, positioning the camera so the field of view is centered where the eyes are looking. The system is highly adjustable for an optimal ergonomic experience. Here are a few video previews of the system in action:

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Medrobotics’ New Flex System for Snake-Like Surgical Endoscopy Cleared in Europe

Medrobotics' New Flex System for Snake-Like Surgical Endoscopy Cleared in Europe

Surgical endoscopy has been hailed as the route to an end to open surgical procedures, but many relatively simple operations still have to be done with a scalpel. Enter the Flex System from Medrobotics (Raynham, Massachusetts), the first surgical endoscopy device with snake-like abilities that allow it to reach places that straight instruments simply can’t.

The technology behind the Flex was originally developed at the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Lab and developed further by Farm, a medical device product development firm. It involves flexible concentric components that can be made to be stiff or go limp as necessary, together acting like a snake that can be positioned around obstacles. The tip of the snake can accept a variety of instruments through the multiple channels within the endoscope, and also hosts a forward looking high definition video camera.

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Evoked Potential Assessment Device Prevents Arms and Legs from Falling Asleep During Surgery

Evoked Potential Assessment Device Prevents Arms and Legs from Falling Asleep During Surgery

All of us have fallen asleep on an arm or sat too long on a twisted leg only to get up and feel like the limb itself has fallen asleep. Nerves can get stretched and compressed, and blood vessels squeezed, and, if a person’s position is not corrected soon enough, it can lead to permanent tissue damage, compartment syndrome and such . This scenario can happen during surgery, but since the patient is anesthetized and can’t feel, the situation usually goes undetected and can lead to significant damage. A new product from SafeOp, a company out of Hunt Valley, Maryland has received FDA clearance for “positioning effect” monitoring without having a dedicated nneurophysiological monitoring team.

The Evoked Potential Assessment Device (EPAD) uses SSEPs (somatosensory evoked potentials) to detect abnormal nerve signaling that is indicative of poor patient positioning. The output of the device is sent wirelessly via Bluetooth to a tablet that can be hung beside the patient to allow a live view of the positioning effect so that clinicians can move the patient and prevent intra-op damage.

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CareFusion’s V. Mueller New Line of Bipolar Electrosurgical Tools

CareFusion's V. Mueller New Line of Bipolar Electrosurgical Tools

CareFusion is releasing a new line of customized bipolar electrosurgical devices that include a variety of forceps and scissors. The V. Mueller branded tools can be selected by surgeons to be non-stick, be made of titanium, and have irrigation capabilities.

The bipolar energy delivery to the instrument through a single cord allows for less damage to nearby  tissue while preventing cords from tangling around each other and allowing surgeons easier access around the surgical site.

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World’s Smallest JustRight 5mm Surgical Stapler FDA Cleared

World's Smallest JustRight 5mm Surgical Stapler FDA Cleared

JustRight Surgical, a company out of Boulder, Colorado, won FDA 510(k) clearance from the FDA for its JustRight 5mm surgical stapler, making it the smallest classic stapler on the market. Developed for pediatric surgeries, it can also be practical in adult surgeries when a small instrument can provide improved access while maintaining visibility.

Here’s a feature list from the product page:

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Covidien Endo GIA Reinforced Reload with Tri-Staple Technology Cleared by FDA

Covidien Endo GIA Reinforced Reload with Tri-Staple Technology Cleared by FDA

Covidien received FDA 510(k) clearance for the Endo GIA Reinforced Reload with Tri-Staple technology. The new stapler features a layer of NEOVEIL, a polymer porous felt developed by GUNZE (Osaka, Japan), as a buttressing material.

The layer of NEOVEIL provides support to the tissue that’s being stapled or resected, particularly benefiting fragile tissue such as in the lungs that may otherwise sustain damage during the procedure.

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Covidien Gets FDA Clearance for LigaSure Maryland Surgical Vessel Sealer/Divider

Covidien Gets FDA Clearance for LigaSure Maryland Surgical Vessel Sealer/Divider

The FDA issued regulatory approval to Covidien for the company’s LigaSure Maryland vessel sealer/divider that can be used in both open and laparoscopic surgeries. The company is also reporting that it completed all necessary steps to receive the CE Mark required for European distribution.

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Ethicon-Endosurgery HARMONIC FOCUS+ Shears with Adaptive Tissue Technology Get FDA OK

Ethicon-Endosurgery HARMONIC FOCUS+ Shears with Adaptive Tissue Technology Get FDA OK

Ethicon Endo-Surgery, a J&J firm, received FDA regulatory clearance to bring to market its HARMONIC FOCUS+ Shears with Adaptive Tissue Technology. The technology is designed to assess the tissue in order to adjust the energy level for optimal hemostasis while protecting surrounding tissue from being affected.

The device can be used during open surgery for traditional applications like dissections and transections, as well as for coagulation and transection of vessels up to 5mm.

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