Printing strain gauges on surgical instruments for force measurement

This technology is a process to incorporate force sensors into devices such as surgical tools for haptic feedback. It can be extended to a wide range of biomedical and non-biomedical products that would benefit from integrated force sensing.

The novel sensor manufacturing process leverages mature manufacturing processes, such as chemical vapor deposition (CVD), physical vapor deposition (PVD) and precise laser machining technologies to print metallic strain gauges on the surface of surgical instruments. This additive manufacturing process uses laser-patterned masks and vapor deposited layers of dielectric material and sputtered conductive films to build highly sensitive strain gauges on surfaces of varying composition and curvature.

Key advantages include:

  1. inexpensive fabrication
  2. flexibility of sensor design
  3. ability to print strain gauges onto pre-existing instruments, eliminating the need for specialized machining.

Intellectual Property Status: Patent(s) Pending