Multi-Actuator Haptic Feedback On The Wrist For Needle Steering Guidance In Brachytherapy

Brachytherapy is a cancer treatment procedure where long flexible needles are steered towards an inner body target in order to deliver radioactive seeds that destroy the cancer cells. Controlling the trajectory of the needle is very challenging as interaction with surrounding tissues causes it to deviate from a straight path during insertion. In this paper we present the design, implementation and evaluation of a wristband with haptic feedback that helps surgeons guide the needle towards a desired destination. The device is designed to work in tandem with a needle steering algorithm that calculates the necessary manoeuvres to ensure the needle reaches the target. The surgeon is then informed about the necessary actions via tactile feedback generated by eight independent actuators distributed around the wrist. A user study is reported including pattern recognition tests, and needle steering in phantom tissue.