Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Janos Grantner

Second Advisor

Dr. Ikhlas Abdel Qader

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Sawyer

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Saad Shebrain


Laparoscopic surgery, minimally invasive surgery, augmented reality, force measurements, strain gauge, bowel suture


In laparoscopic surgery, which is also referred to as minimally invasive surgery (MIS), surgeons carry out surgical procedures with the assistance of a video camera and several surgical instruments. Laparoscopic surgeons should possess excellent eye-hand coordination capabilities, strong cognitive knowledge, case and problem management, and manual dexterity skills. Such skills can be acquired through simulation using a basic, low-fidelity setup, such as the surgical box-trainer. General surgeons must pass a set of tests on a Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) Trainer device.

One pivotal skill for a successful operation is developing a sense of the applied forces on the tissue using the long, mostly metal laparoscopic tools. The objective is to prevent the tissue from being damaged. This study proposes a technique to measure the forces applied by the jaws of the grasper using a capacitive sensing element and a novel technique to measure the forces applied by the needle driver during bowel suturing tests by using strain gauges (SGs). A method to aggregate the responses of the SGs on a cylindrical shaft is also proposed. Another innovation involved in this work is a force feedback display system that utilizes Augmented Reality (AR) glasses that provide a real-time visual representation of the force to the surgeon without distracting the field of view. This study also describes the electromechanical calibration system to calibrate the force measurements for the needle driver and acquire force data using LabVIEW.

Results by simulations indicate that accurate force measurement can be achieved. The implemented prototype of the proposed enhancements to the Intelligent Box-Trainer System (IBTS) has proven that the force measurements are accurate, the transfer function is mostly linear, and the measurements can be replicated in a consistent fashion. The implementation of the AR glasses has proven that the approach is responsive and is capable of handling image frame rates high enough for creating a smooth display for the surgeon’s eye.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access