Another invention by Prof. Grundeman is the Suction Knife, a medical device that can be used by a surgeon to apply a well-defined cut in human tissue in a minimum of time and without collateral damage to underlying tissues.
In arrhythmia surgery a typical procedure is as follows: first the pericardium, which is usually tightly wrapped around the heart, is fixed to end of the shaft of the suction knife by means of suction.
Subsequently, the knife blade is moved to the end of the shaft and the target tissue is cut with a pendular movement. Underlying (heart) tissue with not be sucked into the device and will therefore not be touched by the blade.
Finally, the suction is stopped, the Suction Knife is withdrawn and a surgical instrument can be moved up through the opening created.
As opposed to traditional surgical knifes, the Suction Knife can be operated single handedly and no additional instruments are required to fixate the tissue (e.g. forceps). In addition, tissues can be reached which are relatively far away from the surgical entry in the body and can currently not be reached with surgical knifes at all.
The first target market for this device is, similar to the Spacemaker technology, the area of arrhythmia surgery.