Mechanical Engineering students showcase their research at international exhibition

Fourth-year students in the School of Mechanical Engineering have exhibited their research project, MedSim, at the NI National Instruments Global Student Design Showcase in Texas.


The MedSim team: Dominic Jones, Angus Wooding, Rowena Madar and Satthaporn Barnes, presented their research at the annual NIWeek event, and were also interviewed as part of news coverage of the event.

The students’ project involves the creation of a fully functional haptic mechanism, accompanied by an anthropomorphic casing as well as a full teaching interface and aims to opens avenues for much more accessible and higher quality training for prospective doctors, thereby increasing patient satisfaction and safety.

The field of surgical simulation has risen to prominence in medical engineering, with an increasing need to provide training for medical professionals without jeopardising patient safety.

Laparoscopic procedures involve the insertion of a Veress needle into the abdomen of a patient and doctors routinely perform these for the first time on a live patient. This inexperience can lead to complications resulting in the need to provide a means of practice. Lumbar punctures are a procedure involving the insertion of a needle into a patient’s back to search for abnormalities in the spinal cord or other parts of the nervous system.

Dominic Jones, mechanical engineering student explains: "A simulator for these procedures would prove highly beneficial due to its complexity and risk to patient health. Our aim is to produce a needle insertion simulator with haptic feedback which replicates both procedures using DC motors and a LabVIEW program for control."

Julian Hartley, Chief Executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals said: "This fantastic technology is being developed through close collaboration between the NHS and a world class engineering faculty.”

An NI spokesperson said: “Without question, Leeds is a hotbed of talented, creative young engineers.”

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