Press Announcement at the Design Museum

Press Announcement at the Design Museum

Having successfully created two new automated suturing devices which are set to transform the suturing process and potentially save the NHS £10.7 million each year, we are keen to spread the word about our devices and are planning to host an exciting Press Announcement at the Design Museum, London, where our handheld device is currently exhibited.

The press announcement is taking place on 30th May 2018 and the press that attend will be amongst the first people in the world to create automated robotic stitches using a Zeus medical robot and the Sutrue robotic suturing device. The event will also include an inspirational Q&A with a panel of thought leaders involved in the design, engineering, testing and patenting of the device. Attendees will witness the handheld suturing device in action and have the opportunity to compare it to traditional hand stitching. They will also have the chance to view the handheld device at the museum’s ‘Designer Maker User’ exhibition.

There are still a few places left, so please contact Thea@sutrue.com if you would like to attend this ground-breaking event.

The Sutrue Automated Suturing Devices story

The technique for producing medical stitches hasn’t changed since the times of Ancient Egypt – until now. Medical stitching by hand can be problematic as it relies on the ability, dexterity, training and alertness of the practitioner. We have solved this historic problem through the creation of two revolutionary automated stitching devices. They transform the manual process of stitching into a far simpler, quicker and more accurate automated process, thus reducing the margin for human error. There have been over 10,000 patent attempts to produce a device that sutures wounds and we are proud to be the first to successfully achieve it.

Benefits of the Handheld Suturing Device over traditional suturing include:

– The potential to save the NHS £10.7 million a year (based on data from ‘Health Economics Assessment of an Automated Suturing Device within the NHS’ by York Health Economics Consortium)
– Safer, quicker and more accurate than suturing by hand
– Increased needle force and the option to reduce needle size to subsequently reduce tissue trauma/scarring
– Ability to use standard suturing needles from different suppliers
– Reduction of needle stick injuries among healthcare practitioners and therefore fewer cases of high risk infection such as HIV and Hepatitis B
– Procedures can be performed in the field by less skilled users resulting in injuries being treated more quickly

Benefits of using the Sutrue Robotic / Endoscopic Suturing device instead of using forceps include:

– Reduction in number of open operations and increase in keyhole surgery
– Increased speed of suturing: while an experienced surgeon can take up to 25 seconds per stitch in endoscopic surgery, our device can produce a stitch in 1/3 of a second
– Increased access to hard-to-reach places using the articulation of the device
– Increased accuracy of suturing due to reduction of human error. This is particularly relevant in relation to cosmetic surgery and internal surgery where movement is limited

To create our unique suturing mechanism, we produced 38 different prototypes and designed and tested over 1,500 parts, which involved 15,000 hours of design work. This resulted in the creation of a patented automated suturing mechanism that now consistently works across both types of devices – the handheld and the endoscopic/robotic.

MEDICAL
ROBOTIC / ENDOSCOPIC DEVICE
For over eight years we have worked closely with Mr Richard Trimlett (Cardio-thoracic Surgeon and Head of Mechanical Support at the Royal Brompton Hospital) on the creation of both devices. Richard sees the robotic / endoscopic device as being very influential to the future of robotic surgery. He believes that the device could help to significantly reduce the number of open operations undertaken in the future as it enables sutures to be carried out endoscopically, thus removing the need to ‘open up’ a patient. He stated:

“It’s true to say that the majority of operations we’re doing today are still open and that’s not because the patient wants them open, it’s because of the limitations of the technology and so there are many improvements to technology that we need to get to the point where we can do everything as a keyhole operation and I see this [Sutrue device] as one of them”.

The potential applications of the device include all forms of robotic surgery, but particularly the following areas:

– Cardiac
– Thoracic
– Cranial
– Gastrointestinal

HANDHELD DEVICE
Sutrue has worked with several influential medics during the development process of their suturing devices, including Professor John Pepper OBE, Professor in Cardiothoracic Surgery at the National Heart and Lung Institute who believes the handheld device will benefit inexperienced medical staff when closing wounds. He stated:

“[The Sutrue handheld device] is less likely to cause tissue damage and inexperienced operators often cause tissue damage without realising it, particularly in general surgery for example, whilst doing routine parts of general surgery, like closing the wound and the layers of the wound. It’s important, yet often delegated to the most junior person and tissue damage there can lead to wound breakdown, infection, haematomas and so on.”

Potential applications include:

– Hospitals
– Field hospitals
– Veterinary
– Dentistry
– Extreme environments (e.g. in space)
– Manufacturing
– Textiles industry

ENGINEERING
The engineering process involved in the creation of the Sutrue devices has been significantly faster than traditional methods due to the use of cutting edge 3D printing technology provided by GE Additive. Alex Berry, MD of Sutrue, stated:

“Rapid prototyping has significantly reduced the cost of the creation of the devices, probably by a factor of 50. It has also shaved years off the time it would have otherwise taken. We’ve taken a ‘create, print, test, tweak, reprint’ approach to solving the problem. We even coined our own term for the working process and called it ‘Multi-typing’, which is the ability to loosely design the same component in three or four different ways, have them printed within a few hours and then test and learn from each prototype. This approach has been instrumental in allowing a small start-up company likes ours to maximise our output in terms of creativity and problem solving”.

3D PRINTING
Concept Laser – now a part of GE Additive – has been working with Sutrue for almost three years with the printing of the very small and detailed parts that the automated suturing devices require.

By using the high-resolution capabilities of our Mlab cusing R 3D printer, Sutrue has been able to successfully speed up the engineering process involved in the creation of their medical devices, through a process called rapid prototyping,” (said Stephan Zeidler, business development manager for the medical sector at Concept Laser).

“Once designed by Sutrue, the structurally superior parts were printed by our team before Sutrue assembled them into numerous medical prototypes – sometimes straight from our printer with minimal post processing. This in turn saved considerable time and cost and has resulted in the completion of a series of fully-functioning medical prototypes. Sutrue’s success in having achieved this is a fantastic example of what is possible with our DMLM machines and additive manufacturing technology. We are delighted that both devices are now mechanically sound and are ready for testing within medical industry,” (Zeidler continued).

PATENT LAW

Doctor Tom Burt (Chartered UK and European Patent Attorney, Patent Attorney Litigator at Abel & Imray) has been working with Sutrue on the legal side – patenting the mechanism. He commented on the considerable number of patent attempts that have tried and failed to produce a suturing mechanism like Sutrue’s. Doctor Burt stated:

“As part of the patenting process we arranged several searches looking for anything like the Sutrue mechanism. From this, it became clear that the mechanism solves a problem that’s been worked on for a long time – one of the searches turned up a patent application for a suturing device that was filed in 1908! The searches found various devices that tried to automate suturing, but no one else had managed to devise the key feature that makes the Sutrue device work so well. As a result, we’ve been able to obtain granted patents for the Sutrue mechanism in several jurisdictions including Europe, the USA, Russia and Australia.

TCT Awards

Sutrue went back to TCT this year, but this time with a bit of a difference. Neither Alex Berry or Mr Richard Trimlett were talking at the event, instead, Sutrue was on the shortlist for the Healthcare Application Category of the TCT Awards. We were up against a list of very prestigious contenders and were pleased to be awarded a highly commended certificate for the Sutrue Robotic device.

 

tct-shortlisted-logo

June 2016 – Looking Back

Some will remember June 2016 for England’s European championship exit to Iceland, others will point to the UK’s vote to exit the European Union but for the Sutrue team, we will look back on June 2016 as one of the most significant months in our history for different reasons.

Early June was undoubtedly a preparation phase, hours of design, assembly and planning for events. Events which were very different but equally important; Cannes Festival and Hamlyn Symposium.

Once again we have to give a huge mention to ES Technology who have once again delivered a full build of metal sintered parts, (gears, rollers and other parts) which has allowed us to move the Handheld and Endoscopic devices forward in terms of needle grip, control and rotation speed… thanks guys.

ES build1    ES Build2

In the days prior to Cannes and Hamlyn we also gave the Handheld devices a new look handle and have updated many of the electronic components to improve the power, motorization, indexing and in future Bluetooth connectivity.

New Look Handle2    New Look Handle

The second half of June saw us take part in the Cannes Lions Healthcare Festival. Exhibiting alongside such names as Google, IBM, Twitter, Validic, Annalect and iVenturesHealth As the only Medical device company, we were really pleased with the level of interest we received from Medtech and Media companies alike. Also a big thank you to Mr Trimlett who made the long journey to assist.

Medtech EXPO

The Hamlyn Symposium at the Royal Geographical Society, London, Alex was asked to speak on the subject of “Suturing during Robotic Surgery”. This talk, again in partnership with Mr Trimlett was very well received and led to several interested parties joining us afterwards for more specific discussions about our devices.

Hamlyn Symposium

We are putting together some more images and video’s which will show the new style devices and some live testing…call back soon for an update.

June 2016 has been a really busy month, we’ve exhibited on an international stage and been very well received, we’ve presented to international audiences on the future of surgery and have made significant strides towards the completion of the devices.

 

Sutrue at TCT 2016

Once again Alex Berry, will take to the stage at TCT, the UK’s premier 3D printing and additive manufacturing event.

This year Alex will be joined by Mr Richard Trimlett, Consultant Adult Cardiac Surgeon, from the Royal Brompton Hospital, to present “From Theory to Theatre using Additive Manufacturing”. How medical devices can be developed using a range of 3D printing technologies.

Alex and Mr Trimlett will be first on stage so make sure you get there nice and early.

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