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Med Phys. 2012 Jun;39(6Part3):3612. doi: 10.1118/1.4734666.

SU-D-213AB-06: Surface Texture and Insertion Speed Effect on Needle Friction.

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The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA.



High frictional forces between the needle surface and tissue cause tissue deflection which hinders accurate needle placement for procedures such as brachytherapy and needle biopsy. Accurate needle placement isimportant to maximize procedure efficacy. This work investigates how needle surface roughness and insertion speed affect the frictional forcebetween a needle and tissue.


A friction experiment was conducted to measure the force of friction between bovine liver and three 11 gauge needles having Ra surface roughness of 3.43, 1.33, and 0.2 μm. Each of the three needles were mounted on a linear slide and were advanced and retracted through bovine liver at speeds of 50, 100, 150, and 200 mm/s for a total of 12 trials. In each trial the needle was advanced and retracted in 10 cycles producing a steady state insertion force and a steady state retraction force for each cycle. A force sensor connecting the needle to the linear slide recorded the resistance force of the needle sliding through the liver. The liver was mounted in a box with a pneumatic cylinder which compressed the liver sample by 11.65 kPa.


The roughest needle (Ra = 3.43 μm) on average produced 68, 73, 74, and 73% lower friction force than the smoothest needle (Ra = 0.2 μm) for the speeds of 50, 100, 150, and 200mm/s, respectively. The second roughest needle (Ra = 1.33 μm) on average produced 25, 45, 60 and 64% lower friction force than the smoothest needle (Ra = 0.2 μm) for the speeds of 50, 100, 150, and 200 mm/s, respectively.


Rougher needle surface texture and higher insertion speed reduced frictional forces between the tissue and the needle. Future studies will examine how frictional forces can be modeled and predicted given surface texture and insertion speed.


Brachytherapy; Friction; Liver; Pneumatics; Retraction; Rough surfaces; Surface measurements


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