Evaluation of nonholonomic needle steering using a robotic needle driver

Emmanuel Wilson, Jienan Ding, Craig Carignan, Karthik Krishnan, Rick Avila, Wes Turner, Dan Stoianovici, David Yankelevitz, Filip Banovac, Kevin Cleary

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


Accurate needle placement is a common need in the medical environment. While the use of small diameter needles for clinical applications such as biopsy, anesthesia and cholangiography is preferred over the use of larger diameter needles, precision placement can often be challenging, particularly for needles with a bevel tip. This is due to deflection of the needle shaft caused by asymmetry of the needle tip. Factors such as the needle shaft material, bevel design, and properties of the tissue penetrated determine the nature and extent to which a needle bends. In recent years, several models have been developed to characterize the bending of the needle, which provides a method of determining the trajectory of the needle through tissue. This paper explores the use of a nonholonomic model to characterize needle bending while providing added capabilities of path planning, obstacle avoidance, and path correction for lung biopsy procedures. We used a ballistic gel media phantom and a robotic needle placement device to experimentally assess the accuracy of simulated needle paths based on the nonholonomic model. Two sets of experiments were conducted, one for a single bend profile of the needle and the second set of tests for double bending of the needle. The tests provided an average error between the simulated path and the actual path of 0.8 mm for the single bend profile and 0.9 mm for the double bend profile tests over a 110 mm long insertion distance. The maximum error was 7.4 mm and 6.9 mm for the single and double bend profile tests respectively. The nonholonomic model is therefore shown to provide a reasonable prediction of needle bending.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2010
Subtitle of host publicationVisualization, Image-Guided Procedures, and Modeling
EditorsKenneth H. Wong, Michael I. Miga
ISBN (Electronic)9780819480262
StatePublished - 2010
EventMedical Imaging 2010: Visualization, Image-Guided Procedures, and Modeling - San Diego, United States
Duration: Feb 14 2010Feb 16 2010

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


ConferenceMedical Imaging 2010: Visualization, Image-Guided Procedures, and Modeling
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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