Discover. Connect. Capitalize.

Technology Licensing View



Textured Surface for Use With Available Surgical Retractor Designs

Increases Friction to Create a Firmer Grip of Delicate Tissue Without Causing Damage

This textured surface for surgical retractors improves the grip on delicate tissue to reduce the chance of retractor slipping while avoiding damage to tissue. The global market for surgical equipment should grow by 7.8 percent, reaching a value of $20.3 billion by 2025. Retractors grip tissue and organs to secure them out of the way and to create space for surgeons to work. Conventional surgical retractors have either a smooth surface to avoid damaging tissue or have sharp surfaces and edges to grab tissue securely. However, neither surface is optimal for use with delicate or cancerous tissue because either surface could damage tissue or spread cancerous cells.

Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a tissue-friendly, textured surface for use with available surgical retractor designs. A surface of small spherical or ellipsoidal extrusions 3D printed onto the retractor’s surface creates a texture that increases friction and grip but remains gentle enough to avoid damaging tissue.



Textured surface for use on surgical retractors to improve grip and minimize tissue damage



  • Increases friction between retractor surfaces and tissue, improving grip and decreasing slippage of retractors intraoperatively
  • Utilizes small spherical and ellipsoidal extrusions instead of sharp surfaces to grip tissue, saving time and preventing tissue damage
  • Applies to any current retractor model or shape, providing a way to enhance current inventory by 3D printing new retractors to fit existing equipment
  • Easy to clean surface


A 3D-printed retractor with an array of partially ellipsoidal extrusions that creates a textured surface, similar to the surface of a football, for application onto existing surgical retractor models. The ellipsoids can extrude outward between 0.5 mm to 1 cm from the surface of the retractor and contain spaces of 0.5 mm to 1 cm between one another, depending upon the proposed usage. The smooth curved surfaces of the ellipsoids and spheres ensure a firm grip without damaging tissue.


Research Terms: Engineering
Technology > Instruments > Medical Instrumentation
Keywords: Friction, retractor, Surface, Surgery, Texture,;
Technology Inventors: Bradley Schoch
Benjamin Wilke
Technology Information URL:
University: University of Florida
Tech Transfer URL:

Return to Previous Page

© 1999-2020, State of Florida