Abrasion and blunt tissue trauma study of a novel flexible robotic system in the porcine model

Michael Z. Lerner, Michael Tricoli, Marshall Strome

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objectives The objective of this study was to determine if a flexible robotic system caused increased tissue reaction when accessing the oropharynx and hypopharynx compared to intubation controls in only 2 scenarios: high speed tissue impact and multiple unit insertions and retractions. The data obtained were submitted as part of the entirety of information submitted for FDA approval. Methods This study consisted of 5 groups of Yorkshire pigs (2 animals per group). On Day 0, all animals were intubated. For group 1 (control), a second endotracheal tube was advanced to just above the vocal cords. In abrasion groups 2 and 3, the flexible robotic system was advanced against the oropharyngeal and hypopharyngeal tissues, respectively. In blunt trauma groups 4 and 5, the flexible robotic system was advanced at maximum speed (22 mm/s) to collide with oropharyngeal and hypopharyngeal tissues, respectively. Pre- and post-procedure endoscopic assessments of tissue reaction were performed daily for 4 days. An independent reviewer graded tissue reaction using a 0–3 point scale. Results Tissue reaction scores at each observation time point for all test groups were less than or equal to control scores except for one instance of moderate scoring (2 out of 3) on Day 2 for an animal in the blunt trauma group where reaction was likely intubation-related rather than device impact related. Otherwise, all flexible robotic system-treated animal scores were less than 1 by Day 4. Conclusions In this limited study, the flexrobotic system afforded surgical access to the oropharynx and hypopharynx without an increased level of abrasion or tissue trauma when compared to intubation alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-451
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Flex robotic system
  • Head and neck cancer (HNC)
  • Medrobotics
  • Minimally invasive surgery (MIS)
  • Transoral robotic surgery (TORS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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