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Novel Indentation Depth Measuring System for Stiffness Characterization in Soft Tissue Palpation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paper

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2012 IEEE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ROBOTICS AND AUTOMATION (ICRA)
Place of PublicationNEW YORK
PublisherIEEE
Pages4648-4653
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)978-1-4673-1405-3
Published2012
EventIEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) - St Paul
Duration: 14 May 201218 May 2012

Conference

ConferenceIEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA)
CitySt Paul
Period14/05/201218/05/2012

King's Authors

Abstract

This paper presents a novel approach to measuring the indentation depth of a stiffness sensor in real time during a soft tissue palpation activity. The proposed system is integrated into a stiffness probe and is designed to intra-operatively aid the surgeon to rapidly identify the tissue abnormalities with minimum measurement inaccuracies due to tissue surface profile variations. Stiffness probe and the associated surface profile sensors are pneumatic and the newly designed system can concurrently measure the indentation depth and surface profile variations while sliding over the soft tissues in any direction in a near frictionless manner. With the pneumatic pressure maintained constant, the displacement of the sensing element is a direct function of the stiffness of the tissue under investigation. The sensor has a tunable force range and the indentation force can be adjusted externally to match tissue limitations.

The prototype of the new design of stiffness probe was calibrated and tested on silicone blocks simulating soft tissue. The results show that this sensor can measure indentation depth more accurately than air cushion probe alone. The structure, working principle, and a mathematical model for this new design are described.

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