A Mechanics-based Model For Simulation And Control Of Flexible Needle Steering In Soft Tissue

In needle-based medical procedures, beveled-tip flexible needles are steered inside soft tissue with the aim of reaching pre-defined target locations. The efficiency of needle- based interventions depends on accurate control of the needle tip. This paper presents a comprehensive mechanics-based model for simulation of needle steering in soft tissue. The proposed model for needle deflection is based on beam theory, works in real-time, and accepts the insertion velocity as an input that can later be used as a control command for needle steering. The model takes into account the effects of tissue deformation, needle-tissue friction, tissue cutting force, and needle bevel angle on needle deflection. Using a robot that inserts a flexible needle into a phantom tissue, various experiments are conducted to separately identify different subsets of the model parameters. The validity of the proposed model is verified by comparing the simulation results to the empirical data. The results demonstrate the accuracy of the proposed model in predicting the needle tip deflection for different insertion velocities.