Research Papers

Vibration-Assisted Slicing of Soft Tissue for Biopsy Procedures

[+] Author and Article Information
Marco Giovannini

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Northwestern University,
2145 Sheridan Road,
Evanston, IL 60208
e-mail: marcogiovannini2013@u.northwestern.edu

Xingsheng Wang

College of Engineering,
Nanjing Agricultural University,
40 Dianjiangtai Road,
Nanjing 210031, China
e-mail: wangxingsheng1987@163.com

Jian Cao

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Northwestern University,
2145 Sheridan Road,
Evanston, IL 60208
e-mail: jcao@northwestern.edu

Kornel Ehmann

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Northwestern University,
2145 Sheridan Road,
Evanston, IL 60208
e-mail: k-ehmann@northwestern.edu

Manuscript received July 10, 2017; final manuscript received May 31, 2018; published online July 24, 2018. Editor: William Durfee.

J. Med. Devices 12(3), 031006 (Jul 24, 2018) (7 pages) Paper No: MED-17-1263; doi: 10.1115/1.4040635 History: Received July 10, 2017; Revised May 31, 2018

Skin cancer represents one of the most common forms of cancer in the U.S. This and other skin disorders can be effectively diagnosed by performing a punch biopsy to obtain full-thickness skin specimens. Their quality depends on the forces exerted by the punch cannula during the cutting process. The reduction of these forces is critical in the extraction of high quality tissue samples from the patient. During skin biopsy, the biopsy punch (BP) is advanced into the lesion while it is rotated alternately clockwise and counterclockwise generating, therefore, a rotary vibrational motion. No previous studies analyzed whether this motion is effective in soft tissue cutting and if it could be improved. In this study, the BP procedure is investigated in detail. First, the steady cutting motion of the BP is analyzed. Then, the superimposition of several vibrational motions onto the rotary motion of the BP is investigated. Analytical models, based on a fracture mechanics approach, are adopted to predict the cutting forces. Experimental studies are performed on phantom tissue, usually adopted in medical investigations. The results demonstrate that the application of rotary vibrational motions determines the increase of the force and penetration depth necessary to fracture soft tissue, while the implementation of axial vibrations can lead to 30% decrease of the axial force. The outcome of this study can benefit several clinical procedures in which a cannula device is used to cut and collect soft tissue samples.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Zuber, T. J. , 2002, “ Punch Biopsy of the Skin,” Am. Fam. Phys., 65(6), pp. 1155–1158. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11925094
Linos, E. , Katz, K. A. , and Colditz, G. A. , 2016, “ Skin Cancer—The Importance of Prevention,” JAMA Intern. Med., 176(10), pp. 1435–1436. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Izumi, H. , Yajima, T. , Aoyagi, S. , Tagawa, N. , Arai, Y. , and Hirata, M. , 2008, “ Combined Harpoonlike Jagged Microneedles Imitating Mosquito's Proboscis and Its Insertion Experiment With Vibration,” IEEJ Trans. Electr. Electron. Eng., 3(4), pp. 425–431. [CrossRef]
Kong, X. Q. , and Wu, C. W. , 2009, “ Measurement and Prediction of Insertion Force for the Mosquito Fascicle Penetrating Into Human Skin,” J. Bionic Eng., 6(2), pp. 143–152. [CrossRef]
Aoyagi, S. , Takaoki, Y. , Takayanagi, H. , Huang, C. , Tanaka, T. , Suzuki, M. , Takahashi, T. , Kanzaki, T. , and Matsumoto, T. , 2012, “ Equivalent Negative Stiffness Mechanism Using Three Bundled Needles Inspired by Mosquito for Achieving Easy Insertion,” IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Vilamoura, Portugal, Oct. 7–12, pp. 2295–2300.
Barnett, A. C. , Feidner, M. , and Moore, J. Z. , 2015, “ Vibration Needle Tissue Cutting With Varying Tip Geometry,” ASME Paper No. MSEC2015-9353.
Begg, N. D. , and Slocum, A. H. , 2014, “ Audible Frequency Vibration of Puncture-Access Medical Devices,” Med. Eng. Phys., 36(3), pp. 371–377. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Giovannini, M. , Ren, H. , Wang, X. , and Ehmann, K. , 2017, “ Tissue Cutting With Microserrated Biopsy Punches,” ASME J. Micro Nano-Manuf., 5(4), p. 041004. [CrossRef]
Han, P. , and Ehmann, K. F. , 2013, “ Study of the Effect of Cannula Rotation on Tissue Cutting for Needle Biopsy,” Med. Eng. Phys., 35(11), pp. 1584–1590. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Badaan, S. , Petrisor, D. , Kim, C. , Mozer, P. , Mazilu, D. , Gruionu, L. , Patriciu, A. , Kevin, C. , and Stoianovici, D. , 2011, “ Does Needle Rotation Improve Lesion Targeting?,” Int. J. Med. Rob. Comput. Assist. Surg., 7(2), pp. 138–147. [CrossRef]
Atkins, A. G. , Xu, X. , and Jeronimidis, G. , 2004, “ Cutting by 'Pressing and Slicing' of Thin Floppy Slices of Materials Illustrated by Experiments on Cheddar Cheese and Salami,” J. Mater. Sci., 39(8), pp. 2761–2766. [CrossRef]
Slocum, A. , 1992, Precision Machine Design, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.
Podder, T. K. , Clark, D. P. , Sherman, J. , Fuller, D. , Messing, E. M. , Rubens, D. J. , Strang, J. G. , Zhang, Y. D. , O'Dell, W. , Ng, W. S. , and Yu, Y. , 2005, “ Effects of Tip Geometry of Surgical Needles: An Assessment of Force and Deflection,” Third European Medical and Biological Engineering Conference, Prague Czech Republic (EMBEC), Prague, Nov. 20–25, pp. 1641–1644. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/8af9/0dbff3a9c1f73bdceeaf76abfd9e7831119c.pdf
McGill, C. S. , Schwartz, J. A. , Moore, J. Z. , McLaughlin, P. W. , and Shih, A. J. , 2012, “ Effects of Insertion Speed and Trocar Stiffness on the Accuracy of Needle Position for Brachytherapy,” Med. Phys., 39(4), pp. 1811–1817. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
McGill, C. S. , Schwartz, J. A. , Moore, J. Z. , McLaughlin, P. W. , and Shih, A. J. , 2011, “ Precision Grid and Hand Motion for Accurate Needle Insertion in Brachytherapy,” Med. Phys., 38(8), pp. 4749–4759. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Reyssat, E. , Tallinen, T. , Le Merrer, M. , and Mahadevan, L. , 2012, “ Slicing Softly With Shear,” Phys. Rev. Lett., 109(24), p. 244301. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Mguil-Touchal, S. , Morestin, F. , and Brunet, M. , 1997, “ Various Experimental Applications of Digital Image Correlation Method,” CMEM, 97, pp. 45–58. https://www.witpress.com/Secure/elibrary/papers/CMEM97/CMEM97005FU.pdf
Ogden, R. W. , 1972, “ Large Deformation Isotropic Elasticity—On the Correlation of Theory and Experiment for Incompressible Rubberlike Solids,” Proc. R. Soc. London, Ser. A, Math. Phys. Sci., 326(1567), pp. 565–584. [CrossRef]
Han, P. , 2014, “ Mechanics of Soft Tissue Cutting in Needle Insertion,” Ph.D. thesis, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.
Azar, T. , and Hayward, V. , 2008, “ Estimation of the Fracture Toughness of Soft Tissue From Needle Insertion,” Biomedical Simulation, Vol. 5104, Springer, Berlin, pp. 166–175. [CrossRef]
Desai, P. , 2007, Recent Trends in Obstetrics and Gynecology, B.I. Publications Pvt. Limited, New Delhi, India. [PubMed] [PubMed]


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Biopsy punch adopted for skin biopsy: (a) BP composed of steel cannula and plastic handgrip, (b) three-dimensional model of BP cannula with cutting forces FV and FH, (c) BP cannula cross section showing the inner diameter (d), outer diameter (D), total length (L), and the included angle (θ)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Testbed for the measurement of cutting forces and torques

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Uniaxial tension testbed with the DIC three-dimensional System

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Engineering stress versus engineering strain curve is represented as obtained from tension and compression tests

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Axial cutting force (FV) and torque (T) for a BP highlighting the cutting phases (I, II), rupture force (FVrup), rupture torque (Trup), final force (FVf), and final torque (Tf)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Axial friction force (FVfr) for all six test repetitions. Theoretical friction force is shown as shaded region, corresponding to the possible values of the coefficient of dynamic friction μd.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Axial cutting force (FV) and torque (T) for BP insertion performed with steady motion and with rotational vibration at 0.5 Hz

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Axial rupture force (FVrup) and torque (Trup) with respective error bars, for BP insertion performed at different frequencies

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Axial and tangential friction forces (fVfr and fHfr) for BP insertions performed at different frequencies

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Cutting force (FV) and torque (T) for a BP insertion performed with steady slicing motion and with linear vibrations at 5 Hz and amplitude of 100 μm

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

(a) Percentage variation of axial (ΔfVfr) and (b) tangential friction force (ΔfHfr)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Axial friction force (Ffr) as a function of penetration depth for insertions performed at steady slicing motion and with the superimposition of linear vibrations at different frequencies and vibrations



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In