SIMPLE: Single Incision Micro Ports for Laparoscopic Endo-surgery

Reference number 8732

Sectors: Healthcare

Industries: Medical Devices

A next generation surgical robotics platform for ultra-minimally invasive surgery via a single port, offering bimanual haptic control and enabling autonomous surgical tasks.

Proposed use

Minimally invasive endo-surgical, pelvic, abdominal, and thoracic procedures, for example urologic, gynaecological and hepatobiliary procedures among others.

Problem addressed

Although Laparoscopy has become a surgical practice gold standard, laparoscopic instrument handling is challenging and counterintuitive when compared to open surgery (e.g., indirect visualization via a laparoscope, fulcrum effect, the lack of haptic feedback).

While current commercially available robotic-assisted surgery (RAS) systems allow intuitive instrument handling, immersive 3-D visualization and precise bimanual dexterity, the adoption of RAS systems is still rather limited notably because of their high capital cost, large footprint in the operating room/long setup times and lack of haptic feedback to the surgeon. Therefore a need exists for a system combining the benefits and sensation of open surgery and minimally invasive solution offered by RAS.

Technology overview

Parallel actuators

Allowing surgical instruments to be manipulated within an anatomical cavity. The actuators are directly connected via mechanical linkages (cables/tendons) to one or multiple over-tubes for instruments.

Exchangeable surgical instrumentation

The over-tubes allow for attachment of one or multiple instruments. These include compatibility with any commercially available flexible surgical instrument and endoscope.

Micro ports

Offering a direct pathway for transferring forces and motion between the external actuators and the surgical instruments within the anatomical cavity, reducing friction and increasing positional and force sensing accuracy. The use of needle-sized (~1 mm diameter) ports enables access without creating or leaving visible scars.

External Scaffold/Vest

A lightweight external modular scaffold, in close contact with the patient’s anatomy to fixate the actuators and any additional sensors/instruments. The spatial arrangement and angulation of the actuators and ports, and the size and rigidity of the scaffold/frame can be easily modified and controlled based on the type of surgery required.


  • Ultra-minimally invasive (scar-less) surgery
  • Dexterity & force exertions
  • Sensitivity (haptic feedback, safe autonomous motion)
  • Fast conversion to open surgery
  • Workspace customisability for wide range of surgical applications
  • MRI compatible
  • Cost-effective and reduced footprint

Development stage

  • Proof-of-concept stage (TRL-3) demonstrating concept feasibility
  • Lab based tests demonstrating instrument dexterity and high-force sensitivity.
  • Design optimization software developed for procedure-dependent workspace customisation
  • Animal studies to be conducted

Intellectual property information

PCT Patent Application (WO2019207322) published.


Dr George Mylonas

Lecturer in Robotics and Technology in Cancer
Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgery & Cancer

Visit personal site

Contact us about this technology


Dr Louie Scott

Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation Officer, Faculty of Medicine

Louie is Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation Officer within Imperial Enterprise, supporting inventions arising from the Faculty of Medicine

Contact Louie

+44 7517 551871

[email protected]

Related technologies

A real-time fluorescence probe for Heme Oxygenase activity

A real-time fluorescence probe for Heme Oxygenase activity

Novel heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) probe compositions, and methods covering easy-to-use and rapid readouts of cell protection in cardiovascular diseases, hemorrhage and red cell disorders. Find out more

A technique to detect and discriminate mycobacteria using intact cell lipidomics

A technique to detect and discriminate mycobacteria using intact cell lipidomics

A technique to detect and discriminate mycobacteria using intact cell lipidomics Find out more

Acoustic sub-aperture processing (ASAP) for ultrasound vascular imaging

Acoustic sub-aperture processing (ASAP) for ultrasound vascular imaging

Ultrasound is one of the most commonly used clinical imaging modalities, characterized by its real-time capability, excellent safety, ... Find out more

Sign up for updates

Sign up for monthly technology alerts via email, and find other ways to connect with us.