Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy


Biomedical Engineering


Dr. Aaron Fenster


Both two dimensional (2D) and three dimensional (3D) imaging modalities are useful tools for viewing the internal anatomy. Three dimensional imaging techniques are required for accurate targeting of needles. This improves the efficiency and control over the intervention as the high temporal resolution of medical images can be used to validate the location of needle and target in real time. Relying on imaging alone, however, means the intervention is still operator dependent because of the difficulty of controlling the location of the needle within the image. The objective of this thesis is to improve the accuracy and repeatability of needle-based interventions over conventional techniques: both manual and automated techniques. This includes increasing the accuracy and repeatability of these procedures in order to minimize the invasiveness of the procedure.

In this thesis, I propose that by combining the remote center of motion concept using spherical linkage components into a passive or semi-automated device, the physician will have a useful tracking and guidance system at their disposal in a package, which is less threatening than a robot to both the patient and physician. This design concept offers both the manipulative transparency of a freehand system, and tremor reduction through scaling currently offered in automated systems. In addressing each objective of this thesis, a number of novel mechanical designs incorporating an remote center of motion architecture with varying degrees of freedom have been presented. Each of these designs can be deployed in a variety of imaging modalities and clinical applications, ranging from preclinical to human interventions, with an accuracy of control in the millimeter to sub-millimeter range.