Method for the Detection of Tumor Blood Vessels in Neurosurgery Using a Gripping Force Feedback System

Sensors (Basel). 2019 Nov 25;19(23):5157. doi: 10.3390/s19235157.


Avoiding unnecessary bleeding during neuroendoscopic surgeries is crucial because achieving hemostasis in a narrow operating space is challenging. However, when the location of a blood vessel in a tumor cannot be visually confirmed, unintentional damage to the vessel and subsequent bleeding may occur. This study proposes a method for tumor blood vessel detection using a master-slave surgical robot system equipped with a force sensor in the slave gripper. Using this method, blood pulsation inside a tumor was detected, displayed as a gripping force wave, via the slave force sensor. The characteristics of gripping force due to blood pulsation were extracted by measuring the fluctuation of the force in real time. The presence or absence of blood vessels was determined on the basis of cross-correlation coefficients between the gripping force fluctuation waveform due to blood pulsation and model fluctuation waveform. Experimental validation using two types of simulated tumors (soft: E = 6 kPa; hard: E = 38 kPa) and a simulated blood vessel (E = 1.9 MPa, radius = 0.5 mm, thickness = 0.1 mm) revealed that the presence of blood vessels could be detected while gripping at a constant angle and during transient gripping.

Keywords: blood vessel detection; cross-correlation coefficient; neurosurgery; surgical robot.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Vessels / physiopathology*
  • Equipment Design / methods
  • Feedback
  • Hand Strength / physiology*
  • Hemorrhage / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Neurosurgery / methods*
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / methods*
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Robotics / methods