Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Cosme Furlong, Advisor

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Ryszard J. Pryputniewicz, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Maria Chierichetti, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Simon W. Evans, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Jeffery B. Ryan Jr, Committee Member




" Sample cutting is an important minimally invasive medical procedure. Currently there are several types of medical devices used to cut a distal biological sample, for example, a video endoscope and TurboHawk Plaque Excision Systems. Directional Atherectomy (DA) with the TurboHawk Plaque Excision Systems is a catheter-based, minimally invasive treatment method for peripheral arterial disease (PAD). During a procedure, a catheter is directed toward an area of plaque buildup to remove the plaque from the body, restoring blood flow (Covidien, 2013). Endoscopy is an important procedure used in the medical field to study and diagnose different parts of a body without the need to undergo a major surgery. The major devices are a video endoscope with a flexible or rigid insertion tube and endoscopic therapy devices. Arrays of the devices, through the instrument channel in the insertion tube of endoscopes, to perform a variety of functions are offered. The biological sample cut is one of the important endoscopic therapies. Both of Directional Atherectomy and endoscopy procedures require a power transmission from the proximal tip of device to the distal end, where the cutter is located, for cutting a sample. However, the working length is up to meters, and the diameter of the devices is in millimeter scale in the minimally invasive surgery. Thus enough power transmitting to the distal end of the device for the biological sample cutting is crucial. This research presents the effort toward the investigation of the potential power mechanisms from the proximal tip to the cutter at the distal end of the device for rapid rotational cutting motion to improve the cutting efficiency and accuracy. In this thesis, the potential powering mechanisms including fluid, electrical, and torque coils are investigated. Since the transmission power is used for a rotational cutting action, and the cutting geometry has influence on the cutting power, thus this research also focuses on the analysis of the cutting geometry for the rotational sample cutting. The Hertz contact theory and von Mises yield criterion are used to find the influence of tool geometry on the material removing process, as well as Abaqus, a commercial FEM software, is used for the finite element analysis. Fiber-reinforced composite structures are the main characteristic of the representative biological sample, and their mechanical behavior is strongly influenced by the concentration and structural arrangement of constitute such as collagen and elastin. Researches show that the biological sample, for example, a soft biological sample, has hyperelastic properties and behave anisotropically, and there are a few publications about the plastic properties and cutting mechanics. Thus a linear elastic and linear plastic material model is defined for the finite element analysis of material removal. The analytical results and finite element results both show that as the tool rake angle increases or the tool angle decreases, the magnitude of cutting force decreases. A preliminary representative sample cutting experiment was conducted, and standard cutters with different cutting geometries were tested in order to find the characteristic of the biological sample cutting and the influence of tool geometry on the required cutting power. The experiments reveal the same conclusions as the analytical and finite element results. "


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Mechanical Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





von Mises yield criterion, cutting geometry, minimally invasive surgery, sample cutting, contact stress, Abaqus