Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Biomedical Engineering


James Lacefield and Aaron Fenster


Conventional needle positioning techniques for small animal microinjections are fraught with issues of repeatability and targeting accuracy. To improve the outcomes of these interventions a small animal needle positioning system guided by micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) imaging was developed. A phantom was developed to calibrate the geometric accuracy of micro-CT scanners to a traceable standard of measurement. Use of the phantom ensures the geometric fidelity of micro-CT images for use in image-guided interventions or other demanding quantitative applications. The design of a robot is described which features a remote center of motion architecture and is compact enough to operate within a micro-CT bore. Methods to calibrate the robot and register it to a micro-CT scanner are introduced. The performance of the robot is characterized and a mean targeting accuracy of 149 ± 41 µm estimated. The robot is finally demonstrated by completing an in vivo biomedical application.