A sub-millimetric, 0.25 mN resolution fully integrated fiber-optic force-sensing tool for retinal microsurgery

Iulian Iordachita, Zhenglong Sun, Marcin Balicki, Jin U. Kang, Soo Jay Phee, James Handa, Peter Gehlbach, Russell Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

121 Scopus citations


Purpose: Retinal microsurgery requires extremely delicate manipulation of retinal tissue where tool-to-tissue interaction forces are usually below the threshold of human perception. Creating a force-sensing surgical instrument that measures the forces directly at the tool tip poses great challenges due to the interactions between the tool shaft and the sclerotomy opening. Methods: We present the design and analysisof a force measurement device that senses distal forces interior to the sclera using 1-cm long, 160 μm diameter Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) strain sensors embedded in a 0.5 mm diameter tool shaft. Additionally, we provide an algorithm developed to cancel the influence of environmental temperature fluctuations. Results: The force-sensing prototype measures forces witha resolution of 0.25 mN in 2 DOF while being insensitive to temperature. Conclusion: Sub-millinewton resolution force sensors integrated into microsurgical instruments are feasible and have potential applications in both robotic and freehand microsurgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-390
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • Computer-assisted surgery
  • Force sensor
  • Microsurgery
  • Surgical instruments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Surgery
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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