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.

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.