Archon Medical Technologies

Johns Hopkins University, 2012 - $14,400

Approximately 9-19% of the 4-5 million open abdominal surgeries in the US each year result in postoperative complications, which together cost the health care system $2.5 billion. The main cause of these complications is the improper closure of the fascia, a layer of muscle underneath the skin that protects the internal organs. Currently, fascia closure is performed with the traditional combination of suture and needle. This method poses two problems: first, surgeons have to roughly estimate suture placement across the incision, which can lead to uneven placement and compromise closure integrity; second, the internal organs are exposed to the sharp needle, increasing the chance of bowel puncture and laceration, both of which require additional surgeries to repair.

This E-Team is developing the QuickStitch, a device that will help surgeons close fascia more safely, easily, and consistently. QuickStitch is a plier-like device that can drive and transfer a needle across its jaw. To use it, the surgeon places the fascia between the jaws of the device, squeezes the handle, and toggles a switch to transfer the needle across the layer. The needle is protected in the process, eliminating exposure to the intestines. QuickStitch also improves placement with a built-in visual guide to help surgeons place sutures at regular intervals.