Simulation-based design and optimization of surgical device for lymphatic tissue removal in humans
The human body transports fluids and cells in the blood and lymphatic vascular systems to maintain normal and healthy functions. However, these systems can be disrupted by cancer cells that may lead to uncontrollable tissue growth and/or metastasis. In particular, the cancer cells have the ability to infiltrate the lymphatic system, so that they travel to remote sites and initiate secondary tumors. Removing lymphatic tissue around the cancerous organ prevents the cancer from spreading. But, current surgical procedures are manually operated and very tedious. Depending on the surgeon's skill level, this procedure can take hours. In this thesis, a novel technique and device for removing lymph nodes and lymphatic tissue is developed and designed. To improve surgical efficiency and shorten the operation time, a lymphatic tissue removal device is designed using both mechanisms of mechanical dissection and suction force provided by a vacuum pump. The main goal of this thesis is to design a functional device by applying optimization principles and conducting simulation-based study to guide the optimal design process. This method is based on general principles of topology optimization. The results show that the material distribution at the inlet is optimized to achieve the maximum airflow. The newly designed device satisfies the design requirements given by a surgeon. Moreover, the shape and inlet structure of the surgical device design is optimized with respect to the flow velocity and pressure. The optimized device is drafted and ready for prototyping. In addition, a preliminary haptic enabled visualization model is constructed for further study, which may be used for virtual surgical training.