A Surgical Energy instrument using the microwave "Acrosurg." was launched in April 2017. This product was developed collaboratively with the special contract professor (former professor of a Surgery course) Tohru Tani of the Biomedical Innovation Center, Shiga University of Medical Science, and it provides various merits such as excellent hemostasis abilities with microwaves with the scissor-type device.
PHASE 1Trigger of productization
At the "49th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society for Artificial Organs" held in Tokyo in autumn of 2011, the academic presentation "Microwave surgical instruments (*)," which was developed by the special contract professor (former professor of Surgery course) Tohru Tani of the Biomedical Innovation Center, Shiga University of Medical Science, was given. The Nikkiso's planning and development department staff audited and was impressed by the invention, and promptly contacted him and offered to develop the product at Nikkiso. The special contract professor Tohru Tani readily agreed to the offer and said "Let's do that," then the productization plan started.
* Surgical Energy Instruments: An electronic device that performs hemostasis, sealing, and separation of blood vessels and tissue using the energy emitted from the device
PHASE 2A design that fits Japanese hands
When promoting the productization, the form and the size that fits "Size of Japanese hands" was aimed. then gathered the opinions from male and female surgeons, in addition to special contract professor Tohru Tani, and a design that is proved by human engineering and easily used by Japanese hands was pursued. During trial manufacturing, through many kinds of trial and error such as the scissors being too sharp causing tissue to be cut before hemostasis, and the handle of the device became hot due to transmission loss of the microwave energy, etc., development of the "scissor type Microwave Instruments 'Acrosurg.,' which was a world-first" was successful.
PHASE 3Alleviating the burden to both patients and physicians
The "Acrosurg." provides various benefits with microwaves and its scissor shape.
The microwave is an electromagnetic wave of 2.45 GHz, which is the same as that of kitchen microwaves, etc. When microwave irradiation is applied, it acts on water molecules in the tissue making the tissue itself to activated molecular motion, so there is no worry to burn the tissue and the damage range in the periphery can be minimized. Thus, it is expected that healing time after surgery will be reduced.
Furthermore, "Acrosurg.", scissor type operates these many processes byitself ( discission of skin tissue, peeling of tissue and synechia, discission and hemostasis of organs and tissue, and cutting and sealing of vascular channels). Accordingly, number of times to exchange the surgery instruments deduction leads to reduce operation time, which result in alleviating the burden to both patients and physicians.
Flow of surgery and what Acrosurg. can handle
PHASE 4Concept expressed in the product name
The origin of the name "Acrosurg." is the combination of "Acro" which means "best/most-advanced" in Latin and "surg." which is the abbreviated form of surgery, where our concept is the desire to contribute to realization of the "Best surgery / Most-advanced surgery" that alleviates the burden to both patients and physicians.
Voice of the developer
I still clearly remember the impression and great expectations for marketability when I first saw the prototype and the image of experiments, which was set out by the special contract professor (at that time, professor of a surgery course, Shiga University of Medical Science) Tohru Tani of the Biomedical Innovation Center, Shiga University of Medical Science.
As a medical equipment manufacturer, our company sent out many products to the market, and each time we experienced technical hurdles existing between the research/development prototypes and the products that went to market, and overcame them. As for "Acrosurg.", there was similarly large discrepancy between the usage assumed at the laboratory and practical usage at clinics, and thus, situations that require additional development or improvement for development occurred many times.
Although we have promoted productization while imagining doctor's situations at medical sites, and the patients recovering from medical treatment, we feel a sense of exhilaration for having been able to deliver products to the market without trouble.
Takuji Asano, Market Development Department General Manager, Medical Division