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Sensors 2018, 18(5), 1347; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18051347

Real-Time Vision-Based Stiffness Mapping

1
Department of Precision Engineering, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo, Hongo 7-3-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan
2
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), Via Morego, 30 16163 Genova, Italy
3
Department of Computer Science, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK
4
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University College London, London WC1E 7JE, UK
5
Centre for Advanced Robotics at Queen Mary (ARQ), Faculty of Science & Engineering, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, UK
This paper is an extended version of our paper published in IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, 2015, A. Faragasso et al. “Multi-axis stiffness sensing device for medical palpation”.
Current address: Department of Precision Engineering, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo, Hongo 7-3-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 March 2018 / Revised: 20 April 2018 / Accepted: 21 April 2018 / Published: 26 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
Full-Text   |   PDF [6586 KB, uploaded 26 April 2018]   |  

Abstract

This paper presents new findings concerning a hand-held stiffness probe for the medical diagnosis of abnormalities during palpation of soft-tissue. Palpation is recognized by the medical community as an essential and low-cost method to detect and diagnose disease in soft-tissue. However, differences are often subtle and clinicians need to train for many years before they can conduct a reliable diagnosis. The probe presented here fills this gap providing a means to easily obtain stiffness values of soft tissue during a palpation procedure. Our stiffness sensor is equipped with a multi degree of freedom (DoF) Aurora magnetic tracker, allowing us to track and record the 3D position of the probe whilst examining a tissue area, and generate a 3D stiffness map in real-time. The stiffness probe was integrated in a robotic arm and tested in an artificial environment representing a good model of soft tissue organs; the results show that the sensor can accurately measure and map the stiffness of a silicon phantom embedded with areas of varying stiffness. View Full-Text
Keywords: stiffness sensor; soft tissue characterization; hand-held probe; medical examination; palpation stiffness sensor; soft tissue characterization; hand-held probe; medical examination; palpation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Faragasso, A.; Bimbo, J.; Stilli, A.; Wurdemann, H.A.; Althoefer, K.; Asama, H. Real-Time Vision-Based Stiffness Mapping . Sensors 2018, 18, 1347.

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