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IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2013 Jun;60(6):1728-34. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2013.2241430. Epub 2013 Jan 21.

Ultrasound probe and needle-guide calibration for robotic ultrasound scanning and needle targeting.

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theUrology Robotics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.


Image-to-robot registration is a typical step for robotic image-guided interventions. If the imaging device uses a portable imaging probe that is held by a robot, this registration is constant and has been commonly named probe calibration. The same applies to probes tracked by a position measurement device. We report a calibration method for 2-D ultrasound probes using robotic manipulation and a planar calibration rig. Moreover, a needle guide that is attached to the probe is also calibrated for ultrasound-guided needle targeting. The method is applied to a transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) probe for robot-assisted prostate biopsy. Validation experiments include TRUS-guided needle targeting accuracy tests. This paper outlines the entire process from the calibration to image-guided targeting. Freehand TRUS-guided prostate biopsy is the primary method of diagnosing prostate cancer, with over 1.2 million procedures performed annually in the U.S. alone. However, freehand biopsy is a highly challenging procedure with subjective quality control. As such, biopsy devices are emerging to assist the physician. Here, we present a method that uses robotic TRUS manipulation. A 2-D TRUS probe is supported by a 4-degree-of-freedom robot. The robot performs ultrasound scanning, enabling 3-D reconstructions. Based on the images, the robot orients a needle guide on target for biopsy. The biopsy is acquired manually through the guide. In vitro tests showed that the 3-D images were geometrically accurate, and an image-based needle targeting accuracy was 1.55 mm. These validate the probe calibration presented and the overall robotic system for needle targeting. Targeting accuracy is sufficient for targeting small, clinically significant prostatic cancer lesions, but actual in vivo targeting will include additional error components that will have to be determined.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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