Research Grants
DARTS: Dundee Anchored Retraction and Tether System
Medical Research Council logo Surgical retraction for Single Port Laparoscopic Surgery poses a problem which is currently resolved by an additional port (i.e. an extra abdominal wound) for insertion of a laparoscopic retractor. This clearly compromises the original intent of the approach which aims to execute the operation through a single umbilical incision thereby reducing scarring and postoperative pain from multiple abdominal wounds. A new retraction system is proposed in which the target tissue is retracted by tethering it to the abdominal wall.

This system consists of
  • a latching clamp which grasps the tissue,
  • a holding piece resting on the abdominal wall which has a fine, long atraumatic needle used to pierce the abdominal wall and
  • a tether linking the latch to the external holding piece.
Such a system provides excellent exposure, is easy to deploy and can be inserted at any site, singly, or in multiples if more than one site of retraction is needed for surgical exposure. A development programme is proposed in which prototype devices will be designed and systematically evaluated in animal tissue and human cadavers. The complete device will be licensed to a collaborating company.
Grant Holders
Dr Stuart I Brown, Lead Applicant
Professor Sir Alfred Cuschieri
Dr Tim Frank
Research Staff
Dr PS Maher
Mr Leslie Kelly

The assistance of other colleagues, especially Dr Roos Eisma (CAHId, University of Dundee), Dr Benjie Tang (Cuschieri Skills Unit, University of Dundee) and Dr Fiona Mitchell (Research and Innovation Services, University of Dundee) is gratefully acknowledged.

Starts:April 2010
Ends:September 2011

Institute for Medical Science and Technology, University of Dundee, Wilson House, 1 Wurzburg Loan, Dundee Medipark,
© 2010 IMSaT