Testing Fixture for RFA Device

Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA) is used inminimally invasive arthroscopy procedures, such as ACL reconstruction and Rotator Cuff repairs, to remove tissue that has been torn or is causing impingement. During RFA, a plasma field is generated at the tip of the ablating device. The stability of the plasma
field can fluctuate, decreasing the performance of the device. In order to improve plasma stability and overall performance, Stryker has sponsored a team of students to design, build, and program an autonomous, translating test fixture that can be used to characterize the plasma stability of RFA devices.

Team Helios produced a test fixture capable of simulating an arthroscopic procedure. Power level, suction pressure, speed, and path are the four critical parameters related to plasma stability. A testing engineer is able to define these parameters in a simple GUI to perform batch tests with the desired settings. During this fully automated process, a lowered camera is able to record each test during a batch run. These videos are downloaded wirelessly back to the software and analyzed. The design is fully customizable, and allows for repeatable test conditions while being completely autonomous.

Stryker plans to use this device to better understand plasma stability. RFA is an important advancement because its highly localized treating can be done without damaging surrounding tissue or muscle. This allows the procedure to be performed without general anesthesia, and with a shorter postoperative recovery time. Future patients of these operations will benefit from our increased understanding of this technology.

School Year (term): 
2015-2016
Sponsor: 
Stryker
Team Name: 
Helios
Coach: 
Dr. Brian Iverson
Team Members: 
Kathryn Bingham, Bryan Dukes, Jared Gardner, Chad Gudmundson, Adin Martineau, David Standring

Brigham Young University - Provo | Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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