Macroscopic and microscopic observations of needle insertion into gels

Youri van Veen, Alex Jahya, Sarthak Misra

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    29 Citations (Scopus)


    Needle insertion into soft tissue is one of the most common medical interventions. This study provides macroscopic and microscopic observations of needle–gel interactions. A gelatin mixture is used as a soft-tissue simulant. For the macroscopic studies, system parameters, such as insertion velocity, needle diameter, gel elasticity, needle tip shape (including bevel angle) and insertion motion profile, are varied, while the maximum insertion force and maximum needle deflection are recorded. The needle tip and gel interactions are observed using confocal microscopic images. Observations indicate that increasing the insertion velocity and needle diameter results in larger insertion forces and smaller needle deflections. Varying the needle bevel angle from 8° to 82° results in the insertion force increasing mono- tonically, while the needle deflection does not. These variations are due to the coupling between gel rupture and tip compression interactions, which are observed during microscopic studies. Increasing the gel elasticity results in larger insertion forces and needle deflections. Varying the tip shapes demonstrates that bevel-tipped needles produce the larg- est deflection, but insertion force does not vary among the tested tip shapes. Insertion with different motion profiles are performed. Results show that adding 1 Hz rotational motion during linear insertion decreases the needle deflection. Increasing the rotational motion from 1 Hz to 5 Hz decreases the insertion force, while the needle deflection remains the same. A high-velocity (250mm/s and 300mm/s) tapping during insertion yields no significant decrease in needle deflection and a slight increase in insertion force.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)441-449
    Number of pages9
    JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Part H: Journal of engineering in medicine
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • EWI-23059
    • IR-84157
    • METIS-296296

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