Project Description

A microdebrider is a powered hand piece used during ENT surgeries to incise or remove soft tissue, hard tissue, or bone.

After the tremendous success of the M4 , Medtronic returned to Metaphase to develop the next generation M5 microdebrider. The design of the handpiece was still tremendously popular with ENT surgeons, but Medtronic wanted to increase the power and speed to stay ahead of the competition.

Metaphase collaborated with Medtronic’s engineering team to integrate a new canulated motor that would make M5 the first microdebrider capable of 30,000 rpm. The canulated motor allowed Metaphase to reduce the size and weight of the handle but the team had to carefully consider the weight distribution and center of gravity to ensure the device maintained its premium perception with surgeons. Fingertip control surfaces were refined to provide surgeons with precise control of the 125+ compatible blades and burrs.

  • Ergonomic & Design Audit – Evaluated M5 engineering prototype developed internally by Medtronic, benchmarking against the current M4.
  • Cadaver Lab Observation Research – Observed key opinion leaders (KOLs) and collected feedback on the M5 prototypes as they compared to M4. Interviews with surgeons following the procedure to probe for specific feedback.
  • Industrial Design Development & Prototyping – 2D and 3D design development, collaboration with Medtronic engineers to develop solid, weighted non-functional models with tubing and cabling for ergonomic evaluation. Support provided to Medtronic as functional models were developed.
  • Prototype Testing Cadaver Lab – Observed KOLs as they conducted procedures using functional prototypes. Collected feedback to optimize ergonomics of the handle and control interface.
  • Design Finalization & Engineering Development Support – Metaphase refined 3D CAD based on surgeon feedback and provided support to Medtronic throughout the final engineering.