Robotic Trainer for Ultrasound Guided Needle Insertion

To develop a haptic robotic trainer for surgeons for ultrasound image guided needle insertion; to investigate the force interaction with soft tissue layers in needle insertion; to develop haptic interface that emulates artificial interaction forces for training; to develop an imaging interface for simulating ultrasound images during needle insertion.
Description of the Project: 

Ultrasound guided needle insertion is one of the most difficult skill requiring tasks in surgery.  Training with mock-ups and on cadavers is difficult, costly, time consuming, and mostly requires one-to-one expert presence.  A visual and haptic simulator environment can reduce the cost and time for training and allow for self-training sessions to the trainee surgeons. This project aims to develop the knowledge of soft tissue behaviour in needle insertion, a visual simulator for ultrasound image generation, and a robotic haptic system to emulate the tissue force feedback in needle insertion. With such a system a trainee surgeon can exercise needle insertion with realistic ultrasound images and realistic haptic feedback.  

Second supervisor - Dr Mohsen Khadem, University of Edinburgh


Resources required: 
Two robot arms, two force/torques sensors. Consumables and equipment to develop an experimental needle insertion platform and tissue mock-ups.
Project number: 
First Supervisor: 
Heriot-Watt University
First supervisor university: 
Heriot-Watt University
Essential skills and knowledge: 
Desirable skills and knowledge: 
Medical robotics, image processing.
Funding Available: 

Erden, M.S., Rosa, B., Szewczyk, J. and Morel, G., 2013, “Understanding Soft Tissue Behavior for Application to Microlaparoscopic Surface Scan”, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, vol. 60 (4): 1059-1068.

Khadem, M., Rossa, C., Usmani, N., Sloboda, R. S. & Tavakoli, M. , 2018, “Geometric control of 3D needle steering in soft-tissue”,  Automatica, 101:  36-43.

Khadem, S., Rossa, C., Usmani, N., Sloboda, R. & Tavakoli, M., 2017, “Robotic-Assisted Needle Steering Around Anatomical Obstacles Using Notched Steerable Needles,” IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics, 22 (6): 1917-1928.

Carriere, J., Khadem, S., Rossa, C., Usmani, N., Sloboda, R. & Tavakoli, M., 2017, “Surgeon-in-the-Loop 3-D Needle Steering Through Ultrasound-Guided Feedback Control”, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters. 3 (1): 469-476.