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.

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Fig. 2

Testbed for the measurement of cutting forces and torques

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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)

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Fig. 3

Uniaxial tension testbed with the DIC three-dimensional System

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Fig. 4

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

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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

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Fig. 7

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

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Fig. 8

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

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Fig. 9

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

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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)

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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.

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Fig. 11

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

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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



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