The MIA has not appeared overnight. The project’s origin can be found at the AMC where Joris Jaspers did his PhD thesis in mechanical engineering for the TU Delft. His goal was to fill the gap between the highly advanced robotic systems and the difficult conventional laparoscopic setting. A first prototype of the MIM (Minimally Invasive Manipulator, previous name of the MIA) was a.o. the result of his study.

From the AMC, the entire project moved together with Joris to the UMC Utrecht, where the project became part of the portfolio of Pontes Medical. In collaboration with several parties, a second prototype was developed with improvements on the arm configuration, handle, and instrument tip. This prototype could be used for different user tests and even on a chicken cadaver.

The prototype was used to validate the claimed benefits. Laparoscopic novices performed suturing tasks and were able to make a good suture within 20 minutes, where they were unable to accomplish this task in a 30 minute time-span for a conventional setting. An EMG test showed a significant decrease of tension in the deltoid and trapezius during a box-training comparison between a conventional setting and the MIA, validating an ergonomic benefit.

To take the next step in the development of the MIA, Pontes Medical found a partner in NLC. The broad network of NLC led to the CEO of the start-up to be, Peter Segers. Lapara Surgical bv has been build with a first mission to bring the MIA to the market. The expectation is that another two years are needed for technical development and CE marking, leading to a market introduction at the first months of 2019!

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