Ultrasound-guided Model Predictive Control Of Needle Steering In Biological Tissue

In needle-based medical procedures beveled tip flexible needles are steered inside soft tissue to reach the desired target locations. In this paper, we have developed an autonomous image-guided needle steering system that enhances targeting accuracy in needle insertion while minimizing tissue trauma. The system has three main components. First is a novel mechanics-based needle steering model that predicts needle deflection and accepts needle tip rotation as an input for needle steering. The second is a needle tip tracking system that determines needle deflection from the ultrasound images. The needle steering model employs the estimated needle deflection at the present time to predict needle tip trajectory in the future steps. The third component is a nonlinear model predictive controller (MPC) that steers the needle inside the tissue by rotating the needle beveled tip. The MPC controller calculates control decisions based on iterative optimization of the predictions of the needle steering model. To validate the proposed ultrasound-guided needle steering system, needle insertion experiments in biological tissue phantoms are performed in two cases- -with and without obstacle. The results demonstrate that our needle steering strategy guides the needle to the desired targets with the maximum error of 2.85 mm.