Creating Phantom Arteries for Robotic Surgery

One theme of the Ultrasurge programme is developing robotic platforms from which the miniature surgical tools will be manipulated within the body. The robots need to be able to sense their surroundings, detecting tumours for removal, or avoiding sensitive areas like arteries and other blood vessels.

 

A top down and side view of a wire phantom. Copper wires of different thickness and strung as different heights across eight posts on a 3D printed plastic holder

As a first step a model, or phantom, is created using wires and then suspended in an agar gel.

A 3D printed soft polymer artery is suspended in a cradle

The team in Leeds have gone further to create a more accurate model and used a 3D printer to create a soft polymer phantom of a real artery to be detected using ultrasound.

 


First published: 16 April 2021