FlexDex is a minimally invasive laparoscopic surgical instrument which offers a surgeon the natural motion and dexterity of open surgery. The user interface attaches to the surgeon’s wrist by a gimbal which has an elongated shaft that enters the patient’s body. It utilizes a pair of jaws, capable of clamping or grasping, that articulate to reach more difficult locations within the body. A patented mechanical system finds the center of rotation of the instrument’s handle at the same point as the surgeon’s wrist.
Impact of I-Corps
The I-Corps program taught Dr. Awtar and Dr. Geiger to focus their market discovery efforts on finding a procedure where the dexterity offered by the FlexDex system was critical for successful surgical outcomes. This focus allowed them to streamline product development efforts and tell a more compelling market value story that helped enable future funding of the project.
University Affiliation: University of Michigan
Dr. Shorya Awtar, PhD [left] and Dr. Jim Geiger, MD [right]
|2008||Invention Disclosed to University of Michigan Tech Transfer|
|Jan 2013||Engineering Prototyping Award ($20,000)|
|May 2013||Participated in U-M Regional I-Corps|
|July 2013||NSF SBIR Phase I and IB ($180,000)|
|Dec 2014||NSF SBIR Phase II and IIB ($1.37M)|
|Dec 2014||Angel Funding ($2.4M)|
|Nov 2015||Accelerate Michigan Business Plan Competition ($25,000)|