Ultrasound probe and needle-guide calibration for robotic ultrasound scanning and needle targeting

Chunwoo Kim, Doyoung Chang, Doru Petrisor, Gregory Chirikjian, Misop Han, Dan Stoianovici

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Image-to-robot registration is a typical step for robotic image-guided interventions. If the imaging device uses a portable imaging probe that is held by a robot, this registration is constant and has been commonly named probe calibration. The same applies to probes tracked by a position measurement device. We report a calibration method for 2-D ultrasound probes using robotic manipulation and a planar calibration rig. Moreover, a needle guide that is attached to the probe is also calibrated for ultrasound-guided needle targeting. The method is applied to a transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) probe for robot-assisted prostate biopsy. Validation experiments include TRUS-guided needle targeting accuracy tests. This paper outlines the entire process from the calibration to image-guided targeting. Freehand TRUS-guided prostate biopsy is the primary method of diagnosing prostate cancer, with over 1.2 million procedures performed annually in the U.S. alone. However, freehand biopsy is a highly challenging procedure with subjective quality control. As such, biopsy devices are emerging to assist the physician. Here, we present a method that uses robotic TRUS manipulation. A 2-D TRUS probe is supported by a 4-degree-of-freedom robot. The robot performs ultrasound scanning, enabling 3-D reconstructions. Based on the images, the robot orients a needle guide on target for biopsy. The biopsy is acquired manually through the guide. In vitro tests showed that the 3-D images were geometrically accurate, and an image-based needle targeting accuracy was 1.55 mm. These validate the probe calibration presented and the overall robotic system for needle targeting. Targeting accuracy is sufficient for targeting small, clinically significant prostatic cancer lesions, but actual in vivo targeting will include additional error components that will have to be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6416032
Pages (from-to)1728-1734
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2013


  • Image-guided robot
  • needle-guide calibration
  • prostate biopsy
  • registration
  • ultrasound calibration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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