CORDIS - EU research results

Safe and Sensible Tissue Graspers for Pediatric and (Mini-)Laparoscopic Surgery

Project description

Technological improvements in laparoscopic surgery

Every year, more than 15 million laparoscopic surgical procedures are performed in the world. However, they seem to have a 4 % higher incidence of complications compared to open surgeries. This is attributed to problems with surgical graspers that lack force feedback, requiring surgeons to repeat clamping, which may cause tissue injury. The EU-funded SensAtouch Grasper project has developed a novel grasper that is more sensitive and cost effective, and can operate in a similar way to most state-of-the-art instruments. The implementation of this grasper will enhance the safety and effectiveness of laparoscopic procedures and reduce associated healthcare costs.


Laparoscopic surgery is the most common surgical intervention with over 15 million procedures performed annually worldwide. Most recently, the Dutch Healthcare Inspectorate shocked the medical community when discovering the risk of patient complications is 2-4% higher per laparoscopic operation as compared to its outdated equivalent, open abdominal surgery. Patient post-operative complications are the most costly of medical errors, increasing hospital costs by € 15 Billion per year in EU/US, with €6 Billion directly contributed by 5 laparoscopic procedures. Clinical research acknowledges that state-of-the-art graspers lack force feedback capabilities, which is responsible for accidental tissue trauma, a primary factor of post-operative complications. In fact, it is observed that 38% of all grasper movements are unsuccessful, meaning the surgeon is unable to perform the desired action without repeated clamping, slip, or obvious tissue trauma. MMI is commercializing a new line of force feedback surgical graspers that replaces the root technology of state-of-the-art to address the immediate clinical needs, while converging onto three business trends in the market. The SensAtouch grasper is more sensitive, cost effective, and can be diametrically miniaturised without loss of performance. The SensAtouch technology operates on the same working principles as state-of-the-art instruments and is attachable onto the vast majority of commercially-available grasper handles. Therefore, this innovation will disrupt the laparoscopic device market by enhancing safety and effectiveness, while maintaining operating room dynamics and medical device supply chains. The SensAtouch grasper can be procured without added costs to the hospital, while reducing post-operative complication costs up to € 6 Billion in the EU/US annually. The entry market of pediatric surgery opens direct access into the mini- and general laparoscopic device markets valued globally at € 8.9 billion in 2017.

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Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

West-Nederland Zuid-Holland Agglomeratie ’s-Gravenhage
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 71 429,00