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This is a core-extracting endoscopic biopsy needle designed by a team of MIT graduate students under the advisement of Dr. William Brugge of Massachusetts General Hospital and Professor Alex Slocum. The design incorporates a polycarbonate needle tip, which houses four flexible teeth angled into the needle at a 30-degree angle. These teeth flex open when the tissue enters, and upon retraction of the needle, the teeth sever the tissue sample into the needle shaft. The polycarbonate needle tip is attached to the stainless steel shaft through a sinusoidal threading and medical grade adhesive. This design is now patented.

The following show the highlights of our design process.

State of the Art: An endoscopic biopsy is a minimally invasive means of extracting a tissue sample from a patient. The current endoscopic biopsy needles are incapable of preserving the tissue histology and are relatively unreliable.

Brainstorming Sketches: The following is a small sample of our original concept sketches.

Sketch Model Testing of Select Concepts: Side-Cutting and End-Cutting were first tested with straws on layered clay. Brass End-Cutting Mockups were tested on cow liver.

Detailed Design (SLA prototypes) and Testing: Our top three concepts were rapid prototyped and tested for preservation of histology on gelatin samples.

Final CAD Model of Needle Tip (showing FEA analysis on teeth flexing open and closed): The final concept was optimized to increase sample quality and ensure structural robustness through a design of experiments and finite element analysis.

© Barry Matthew Kudrowitz, all rights reserved, 2013