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Sensorized instruments that accurately measure the interaction forces (between biological tissue and instrument endeffector) during surgical procedures offer surgeons a greater sense of immersion during minimally invasive robotic surgery. Although there is ongoing research into force measurement involving surgical graspers little corresponding effort has been carried out on the measurement of forces between scissor blades and tissue. This paper presents the design and development of a force measurement test apparatus, which will serve as a sensor characterization and evaluation platform. The primary aim of the experiments is to ascertain whether the system can differentiate between tissue samples with differing mechanical properties in a reliable, repeatable manner. Force-angular displacement curves highlight trends in the cutting process as well the forces generated along the blade during a cutting procedure. Future applications of the test equipment will involve the assessment of new direct force sensing technologies for telerobotic surgery.
Callaghan, D., McGrath, M., Coyle, E.: A Force Measurement Evaluation Tool for Telerobotic Cutting Applications: Development of an Effective Characterization Platform. International Journal of Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences. Vol. 1;3, pp. 144-150, 2008.