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Palpationlike soft-material elastic modulus measurement using piezoelectric cantilevers

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3 Author(s)
Szewczyk, Steven T. ; Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104 ; Shih, Wan Y. ; Shih, Wei-Heng

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We have developed an all-electrical piezoelectric cantilever sensor that can self-excite and self-detect for tissue elastic modulus measurement. An all-electrical piezoelectric cantilever is consisted of a sandwich of piezoelectric layer, e.g., lead zirconate titanate (PZT), a nonpiezoelectric layer, e.g., stainless steel, and a second piezoelectric layer. The top piezoelectric layer serves as the driving layer (self-exciting) and the second piezoelectric layer as the sensing layer (self-sensing). The driving and sensing piezoelectric layers may be of different lengths. Applying a dc voltage across the driving PZT layer causes the piezoelectric cantilever to bend. The resultant bending stress in the sensing PZT layer generates a piezoelectric voltage across the sensing PZT layer that rises rapidly to a maximum before it decays with time. The maximum induced voltage was used to measure the axial displacement of the piezoelectric cantilever. With its force generation and displacement sensing capability, we show that an all-electrical piezoelectric cantilever can measure the elastic modulus of tissues both under the regular compression geometry and the flat-punch indentation geometry. In addition, the sensor can map the local elastic modulus variations of tissues much like palpation.

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Review of Scientific Instruments  (Volume:77 ,  Issue: 4 )