In less invasive surgical procedures, such as endoscopic or arthroscopic procedures cannulas consist of a flexible tube having flexible flanges at either end. Once these cannulas are inserted, the flanges hold the cannula in place and protect surrounding soft tissues from being damaged by the insertion, movement, and removal of instruments inserted via the cannula.

Typical insertion tools include a guide and a manual scissor clamp as seen in the image. This provides certain challenges during operation as the guide and the insertion of the passport should not induce stretch in the skin else the tissues are prone to damage. Because of the scissor clamp and the guide this can be sometimes hard to manage and the actual use of the procedure is also cumbersome and not ergonomic.


Typical Passport Cannula


Insertion of a flexible cannula without creating extraneous subcutaneous and/or intramuscular tracks, and decrease the likelihood that the cannula will be dislodged from the portal during the placement procedure.


To come up with a device that has minimal surface area entering the incision and the clamping and release of the passport cannula is done within that volume, preferably by a single hand as opposed to the typical design.

The idea proposed was to come up with a design that uses the flexibility of the passport to induce unclamping of the passport and a mechanism to clamp the passport when inserting.

The lobe of the device had to be designed in a way that it had minimal contact friction so when the lobe was pulled the passport would flex and release itself from the lobe because of the flexible material.


This required iterative simulation and design optimization for contact friction, strength and cost effectiveness considering mass scale manufacturing.

The Design had to have enough strength so that it could penetrate the incision without bending but it had to be kept as low profile and light weight as possible.

Readings for the FEA results cannot be shown because of NDA obligations


The proposed design had a lobe with an extended guide tray which would support the clamp plate.

This allows the user to clamp and unclamp the passport with one hand and allows the user to apply force normal to the incision. The frontal surface area is continued through the length of the instrument.


Jason Hammond, MD, is a board certified orthopedic surgeon who is fellowship trained in sports medicine. Dr. Hammond specializes in minimally invasive procedures of the shoulder and knee, including arthroscopic rotator cuff repair, arthroscopic shoulder stabilization, ACL reconstruction, and meniscus surgery. He is also proficient in knee replacement surgery, including outpatient partial knee replacements.

In what aspects did BMKDesign help you with respect to your product?

BMKDesign helped with the design of the product and facilitated the 3D printing.

How was your experience working with the company?

The company was great. I received timely changes to my feedback and the professionalism of Bilal was excellent.

Did the company provide any value addition to your initially intended design?

Yes. My product is more simple, ergonomic, and efficient.

How was the quality of prototyping and how well did the actual product work?

For what I needed, my 3D printed prototype was very good.

Were you satisfied with the end product and would you work with BMK again?


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