Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Engineering Science


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Prof. Shaun Salisbury


In this paper, a novel feedback-based dynamic instrument integrated into a Minimally- Invasive-Surgery (MIS) tool to evaluate the mechanical impedance of soft tissues is presented. This instrument is capable of measuring viscoelasticity of tissues if specific boundary conditions are known. Some important advantages of the proposed instrument are that it is robust and simple in comparison to other similar instruments as it does not require magnitude information of plant’s displacement output and no force sensor is used. The precision and accuracy of the measurements of the proposed instrument for soft tissues is noticeably higher than similar instruments, which are not optimized to work with soft tissues.

The proposed dynamic instrument is designed to detect the frequency shifts caused by contacting a soft tissue using an improved phase-locked loop feedback system (closed loop). These frequency shifts can then be used to evaluate the mechanical properties of the tissue. The closed-loop method works fast (with an approximate resonance-frequency-shift rate of 15 Hz per second), and is capable of measuring dy­ namic mechanical properties of viscoelastic tissues, while previous focus was mostly on static/quasi-static elastic modulus.

The instrument is used to evaluate the equivalent stiffness of several springs and cantilever beams, mass of reference samples, and also the frequency shifts of several phantoms with injected tumors, noting that these frequency shifts can be used to measure the viscoelasticity of the tissues. It is also shown that the instrument can be used for tumor localization in these phantoms.



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