Cauterization is a widely used surgical method to cut, coagulate, and damage tissue using an electrocautery apparatus. We surveyed over 40 physicians at the UCI Medical Center and determined that there is risk of current cautery devices in jeopardizing operations due to cords tripping physicians or getting caught. There is a clinical need for an improved device that performs effective cauterization without getting in the way of the user.
Design, PROTOTYPE & Testing Methods
Our device will solve many of the problems with the current cautery devices. Key components of our products are:
- Removable, rechargeable battery
- Sterilizable sheath for easy replacement
- A replaceable, bipolar, electrode tip
The preliminary E-Pen prototype consisted of a battery(1.5-9v), wires, an electrode, and chopsticks.
The purpose of this prototype was to rapidly test and compare different aspects of the pen. This set-up allowed for rapid changing of the battery, wires, and electrode to enable testing over a large range of parameters.
The primary tests which are most relevant to the E-pen are: Time to heat up, Maximum temperature, Maximum number of uses, and Effectiveness. We tested current Bovie pens on pig skin and chicken breasts and compared the data collected against our prototypes in an attempt to reach our acceptance criteria. We also used a thermocouple to measure maximum temperature and heat change.
The E-Pen will cost more up-front for users, but because it is rated for 2,000 operations, the total cost per operation is only $1 or 9% the cost of operating with a Bovie pen.
| ||E-Pen||Bovie Pen
|Device||$400/2,000 operations = $0.20||$112.20/box of 10 = $11.22
|Electrode tips||$10/box of 25 = $0.40||Included
|Sterile sheaths||$15/box of 25 = $0.40||N/A
|Total Cost per Operation||$1||$11.22
We plan to retail the E-Pen at $400 per device, with batch orders or subscription services for the single-use electrode tips and sheaths.
Our product is more effective, environmentally friendly, and cheaper than current solutions. We will target the ~7,800 dermatology practices in the U.S., which would use the E-Pen the most. We also plan to expand to hospitals as well.