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Breast biopsy guided by imaging techniques such as ultrasound is widely used to evaluate suspicious masses within the breast. The current procedure allows the clinician to determine the location and extent of a tumor in the patient breast before inserting the needle. However, there are several problems with this procedure: the complex interaction dynamics between the needle force and the breast tissue will likely displace the tumor from its original position, necessitating multiple insertions, causing clinicianspsila fatigue, patient's discomfort, and compromising the integrity of the tissue specimen. In this paper, we present a new concept for real-time manipulation of a tumor using a robotic controller that monitors the image of the tumor to generate appropriate external force to position the tumor at a desired location. The idea here is to demonstrate that it is possible to manipulate a tumor in real time by applying controlled external force in an automated way such that the tumor does not deviate from the path of the needle. Experiments on breast phantoms are presented to demonstrate the essence of this concept. The success of this approach has the potential to reduce the number of attempts a clinician makes to capture the desired tissue specimen, minimize tissue damage, improve speed of biopsy, reduce patient discomfort, and eliminate false negative results.
Date of Publication: April 2009