Magnetic Needle Steering

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Description

Needle steering is an extension of manually inserted needles that allows for maneuverability within the body in order to avoid anatomical obstacles and correct for undesired placement errors. Research

Needle steering is an extension of manually inserted needles that allows for maneuverability within the body in order to avoid anatomical obstacles and correct for undesired placement errors. Research into needle steering predominantly exploits interaction forces between a beveled tip and the medium, controlling the direction of forces by applying rotations at the base of the needle shaft in order to steer. These systems are either manually or robotically advanced, but have not achieved clinical relevance due to a multitude of limitations including compression effects in the shaft that cause undesired tissue slicing, torsional friction forces and deflection at tissue boundaries that create control difficulties, and a physical design that inherently restricts the workspace. While most improvements into these systems attempt to innovate the needle design or create tissue models to better understand interaction forces, this paper discusses a promising alternative: magnetic needle steering. Chapter 2 discusses an electromagnetic needle steering system that overcomes all aforementioned issues with traditional steering. The electromagnetic system advances the needle entirely magnetically so it does not encounter any compression or torsion effects, it can steer across tissue-interfaces at various angles of attack (90, 45, 22.5°) with root-mean-square error (RMSE) of 1.2 mm, achieve various radii of curvature as low as 10.2 mm with RMSE of 1.4 mm, and steer along complex 3D paths with RMSE as low as 0.4 mm. Although these results do effectively prove the viability of magnetic steering, the electromagnetic system is limited by a weak magnetic field and small 33mm cubic workspace. In order to overcome these limitations, the use of permanent magnets, which can achieve magnetic forces an order of magnitude larger than similarly sized electromagnetics, is investigated. The needle will be steered toward a permanent magnet configuration that is controlled by a 6 degree-of-freedom robotic manipulator. Three magnet configurations were investigated, two novel ideas that attempt to create local maximum points that stabilize the needle relative to the configuration, and one that pulls the needle toward a single magnet. Ultimately, the last design was found to be most viable to demonstrate the effectiveness of magnetic needle steering.