Needles are used in many forms of medical diagnosis and treatment, from tissue biopsies to placement of
radioactive seeds for cancer treatment. It is now possible to perform such procedures under 2D or 3D image guidance, allowing the assessment of the needle placement. In addition, new thin and flexible needles that can be steered through deformable tissues around tissue obstacles, permit to reach specified anatomical targets that would otherwise not be accessible. One key difficulty remains: soft tissue motion, either due to breathing or deformation induced by the needle, changes the location of the initial target. Either when using image guidance, or robotic control of the needle insertion, this remains a major obstacle.
In this project we develop an advanced path planning method which accounts for both tissue and needle deformation, avoids anatomical obstacles, and maximizes chances to reach the target. This has direct applications in pre-operative planning, per-operative guidance, and control for robotics. Our approach combine advanced modeling of the needle, liver tissue deformation, tissue-tool interactions, and planning algorithms.
By offering the ability to accurately plan percutaneous procedures while accounting for tissue and needle deformation, our approach has the potential to improve targeting accuracy for a wide range of procedures, including biopsy, and tumor ablation. These advances could in turn improve the outcome of existing procedures and enable needle-based procedures for conditions that currently require open surgery or systemic treatment.