I-Corps: Multi-Axis Deformable Sensor/Actuator System
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The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project includes smart algorithm-driven superior stents for use in Urology, Gastrointestinal surgery, ENT surgery and Neurosurgery. Patients suffering from malignant obstruction, benign biliary strictures, biliary leaks, bile duct stones, transplants, pancreatic strictures due to malignancy, pancreatic fistulae, chronic pancreatitis, and pancreas divisum would potentially benefit from this technology. Almost 112,000 people are treated for these conditions every year in the U.S. The invention is expected to significantly improve performance over currently used plastic/teflon based stents and also augment functionality on many fronts.This I-Corps project will focus on assessing the market requirements to refine the design of a novel Multi-Axis Deformable Sensor/Actuator that is based on the principle of tensegrity. It offers a lightweight actuator system with 6 degrees of freedom of manipulation. This provides the opportunity to create 3-dimensional structures that can be delivered to a desired anatomical/surgical site in the human body for the purpose of repairing strictures, in a low profile and can be expanded to the desired shape. This system offers a new generation of intra-body luminal space maintainers, stents, and expanders. The main value proposition is guaranteed stent retention. The device involves smart algorithms that sense the states (angles, loads) of the system and locally activates them to achieve a desired spatio-temporal support. These algorithms are run in real-time, in embedded processor.