Watch: An Inventor's Novel Device for Making All Surgery Less Invasive

It is puncture itself that causes risk.” That is a quote from H.C. Jacobaeus, the first person to perform a laparoscopic surgery on a human. Over a century after Jacobaeus said this we are still grappling with surgical complications from punctures. Trocar insertion errors, for example, account for the largest number of complications related to laparoscopic surgery. Nikolai Begg, a PhD student in mechanical engineering at MIT, hopes that his novel device – a “flexure-based puncture access mechanism” - will take the danger out of procedures that Begg likens to drilling through a piece of wood or inserting a straw into a Capri Sun drink to his TEDxBeaconStreet talk.

 Begg's device uses a spring-loaded mechanism to retract the tip immediately after puncture. {Image via MIT / Nikolai Begg ]

 Know how when you're drilling into a wall and you suddenly plunge into it when the drill goes through? This same thing happens in surgery, only instead of an empty wall there's a body full of vital organs to worry about. Begg's device is designed to bypass this plunge issue by retracting its bladed tip immediately at the point of puncture.

In 2013, Begg's work was recognized with a Lemelson-MIT National Collegiate Student Prize.
Watch Begg's TED talk below where he describes his novel new medical device.

-Chris Wiltz, Associate Editor, MD+DI