Vailhe E and Matonick J. Transparent laparoscopic simulator with adjustable physiological conditions for product development and surgical training. Paper presented at: The Three Rs - Together it's possible. 8th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences; 2011 Aug 21-25; Montreal, Canada


Laparoscopy dates back to around 1901, when it was reportedly first used in a gynecologic procedure performed in Russia. The popularity of the technique as a diagnostic and treatment tool has increased dramatically since the early 1980's to today where it is a widespread procedure for various surgeries. A novel bench top model is presented that simulates the anatomical and physiological conditions present during laparoscopy.
The objective was to create a bench top laparoscopic simulator with adjustable physiological conditions to aid in the design and development of laparoscopic devices and to be used as a surgical trainer.
The laparoscopic chamber approximates the volume and aspect ratio of the human adult abdominal cavity during distention, providing the physical constraints of conventional laparoscopic surgery. Environmental conditions of insufflation pressure, temperature, and humidity are also included, eliminating the need for dedicated research animals. Multiple access ports accommodate both 5 and 10-12 mm trocars in the anterior and lateral planes allowing placement of cameras and instruments.
The Transparent Laparoscopic Simulator enables rapid prototype evaluations and training of medical professions without the use of dedicated research animals. Environmental conditions in the chamber may be created to simulate a broad range of patient conditions by controlling insufflation pressure, temperature, and humidity. The transparent walls of the chamber provide direct visualization of the device being used or the test being performed, instead of indirect imaging with a camera and monitor as in conventional laparoscopic surgery. Alternatively, the chamber may be covered to hide the interior and allow for training with the use of a conventional monitor. The full field of view provides the investigator an unobstructed three-dimensional assessment. The laparoscopic chamber has been used for new product development, surgical training and design validation.

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Link to journal: ALTEX - Alternatives to Animal Experimentation