Skip to Main Content
Physicians perform percutaneous therapies in many diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Image guidance promises to improve targeting accuracy and broaden the scope of needle interventions. In this paper, we consider the possibility of automating the guidance of a flexible bevel-tip needle as it is inserted into human tissue. We build upon a previously proposed nonholonomic kinematic model to develop a nonlinear observer-based controller. As a first step for control, we show that flexible needles can be automatically controlled to remain within a planar slice of tissue as they are inserted by a physician; our approach keeps the physician in the loop to control insertion speed. In the proposed controller, the distance of the needle tip position from the plane of interest is used as a feedback signal. Numerical simulations demonstrate the stability and robustness of the controller in the face of parametric uncertainty. We also present results from pilot physical experiments with phantom tissue under stereo image guidance.
Date of Conference: 10-14 April 2007