Percutaneous needle placement using laser guidance: A practical solution

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering






Device tracking; Image guidance; Laser; Medical robotics; Needle intervention


In interventional radiology, various navigation technologies have emerged aiming to improve the accuracy of device deployment and potentially the clinical outcomes of minimally invasive procedures. While these technologies' performance has been explored extensively, their impact on daily clinical practice remains undetermined due to the additional cost and complexity, modification of standard devices (e.g. electromagnetic tracking), and different levels of experience among physicians. Taking these factors into consideration, a robotic laser guidance system for percutaneous needle placement is developed. The laser guidance system projects a laser guide line onto the skin entry point of the patient, helping the physician to align the needle with the planned path of the preoperative CT scan. To minimize changes to the standard workflow, the robot is integrated with the CT scanner via optical tracking. As a result, no registration between the robot and CT is needed. The robot can compensate for the motion of the equipment and keep the laser guide line aligned with the biopsy path in real-time. Phantom experiments showed that the guidance system can benefit physicians at different skill levels, while clinical studies showed improved accuracy over conventional freehand needle insertion. The technology is safe, easy to use, and does not involve additional disposable costs. It is our expectation that this technology can be accepted by interventional radiologists for CT guided needle placement procedures. © 2013 SPIE.

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