2010 Design of Medical Devices Conference Abstracts

Handheld Force Controlled Ultrasound Probe PUBLIC ACCESS

[+] Author and Article Information
Matthew Gilbertson, Brian Anthony, Shih-Yu Sun

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

J. Med. Devices 4(2), 027540 (Aug 12, 2010) (1 page) doi:10.1115/1.3454860 History: Published August 12, 2010


An actuated handheld force-feedback controlled ultrasound probe has been developed. The controller maintains a prescribed contact force between the probe and a patient’s body. The device will enhance the diagnostic capability of free-hand elastography, swept-force compound imaging and make it easier for a technician to acquire repeatable (i.e., directly comparable) images over time. The mechanical system consists of an ultrasound probe, a ball-screw-driven linear actuator, and a force/torque sensor. The feedback controller commands the motor to rotate the ball screw to translate the ultrasound probe in order to maintain a desired contact force. In preliminary user studies, it was found that the control system maintained a constant contact force with 1.7 times less variation than human subjects provided with a visual force display. Users without a visual force display were only able to maintain a constant force with 20 times worse variation than the automatic controller. The system was also used to determine the viscoelastic properties of soft tissues.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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