This paper describes the initial design and optimization of a compliant endoscopic suturing instrument. The emerging field of Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES) requires innovative instruments to meet the size limitations inherent in this type of minimally invasive surgery; using compliant mechanisms is proposed as one method of meeting this requirement. The compliant design was modeled and optimized to maximize the distal opening and provide a puncture force of at least , while being small enough to fit within a working channel. The design utilizes contact for stress relief and intertwining parts for added deflection. ANSYS ® was used for finite element analysis including contact and nonlinear deformations. A prototype was fabricated from the optimized geometry and experimentally tested. The best geometry is predicted to have a distal opening of at the tips and supply a puncturing force of . The force supplied at the tip was measured and was found to exceed the required . The prototype successfully passed two complete sutures and qualitative results are provided. The results of the study will lead to further refinements and improvements in future designs.