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Published Online: 12 July 2010

A Comparative Study Between an Improved Novel Air-Cushion Sensor and a Wheeled Probe for Minimally Invasive Surgery

Publication: Journal of Endourology
Volume 24, Issue Number 7

Abstract

Purpose: We describe a comparative study between an enhanced air-cushion tactile sensor and a wheeled indentation probe. These laparoscopic tools are designed to rapidly locate soft-tissue abnormalities during minimally invasive surgery (MIS).
Materials and Methods: The air-cushion tactile sensor consists of an optically based sensor with a 7.8 mm sphere “floating” on a cushion of air at the tip of a shaft. The wheeled indentation probe is a 10 mm wide and 5 mm in diameter wheel mounted to a force/torque sensor. A continuous rolling indentation technique is used to pass the sensors over the soft-tissue surfaces. The variations in stiffness of the viscoelastic materials that are detected during the rolling indentations are illustrated by stiffness maps that can be used for tissue diagnosis. The probes were tested by having to detect four embedded nodules in a silicone phantom. Each probe was attached to a robotic manipulator and rolled over the silicone phantom in parallel paths. The readings of each probe collected during the process of rolling indentation were used to achieve the final results.
Results: The results show that both sensors reliably detected the areas of variable stiffness by accurately identifying the location of each nodule. These are illustrated in the form of two three-dimensional spatiomechanical maps.
Conclusions: These probes have the potential to be used in MIS because they could provide surgeons with information on the mechanical properties of soft tissue, consequently enhancing the reduction in haptic feedback.

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Information & Authors

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Published In

cover image Journal of Endourology
Journal of Endourology
Volume 24Issue Number 7July 2010
Pages: 1155 - 1159
PubMed: 20624084

History

Published online: 12 July 2010
Published in print: July 2010

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    Dinusha Zbyszewski
    Department of Mechanical Engineering, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.
    Benjamin Challacombe
    Department of Urology, Guy's and St. Thomas' Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.
    Jichun Li
    Department of Mechanical Engineering, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.
    Lakmal Seneviratne
    Department of Mechanical Engineering, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.
    Faculty of Engineering, Khalifa University of Science, Technology & Research (KUSTAR), Abu Dhabi Campus, P.O. Box 127788, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
    Kaspar Althoefer
    Department of Mechanical Engineering, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.
    Prokar Dasgupta
    Department of Urology, Guy's and St. Thomas' Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.
    Declan Murphy
    Department of Urology, Guy's and St. Thomas' Hospitals, NHS Foundation Trust, King's College London, London, United Kingdom.

    Notes

    Address correspondence to:Dinusha Zbyszewski, M.Eng.King's College LondonStrand CampusLondon, WC2R 2LSUnited Kingdom
    E-mail: [email protected]

    Disclosure Statement

    No competing financial interests exist.

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