PhD Oral Exam - Naghmeh Mohammadi Bandari, Mechanical Engineering
Optical-based tactile sensors for minimally invasive surgeries: design, modeling, fabrication, and validation
This event is free
School of Graduate Studies
When studying for a doctoral degree (PhD), candidates submit a thesis that provides a critical review of the current state of knowledge of the thesis subject as well as the student’s own contributions to the subject. The distinguishing criterion of doctoral graduate research is a significant and original contribution to knowledge.
Once accepted, the candidate presents the thesis orally. This oral exam is open to the public.
Loss of tactile perception is the most challenging limitation of state-of-the-art technology for minimally invasive surgery. In conventional open surgery, surgeons rely on their tactile sensation to perceive the tissue type, anatomical landmarks, and instrument-tissue interaction in the patient’s body. To compensate for the loss of tactile feedback in minimally invasive surgery, researchers have proposed various tactile sensors based on electrical and optical sensing principles. Optical-based sensors have shown the most compatibility with the functional and physical requirements of minimally invasive surgery applications. However, the proposed tactile sensors in the literature are typically bulky, expensive, cumbersome to integrate with surgical instruments, and show nonlinearity in interaction with biological tissues. In this doctoral study, different optical tactile sensing principles were proposed, modeled, validated and various tactile sensors were fabricated, and experimentally studied to address the limitations of the state-of-the-art. The present thesis first provides a critical review of the proposed tactile sensors in the literature with a comparison of their advantages and limitations for surgical applications. Afterward, it compiles the results of the design, modeling, and validation of a hybrid optical-piezoresistive sensor, a distributed Bragg reflecting sensor, and two sensors based on variable bending radius light intensity modulation principle. The performance of each sensor was verified experimentally for the required criteria of accuracy, resolution, range, repeatability, and hysteresis. Also, a novel image-based intensity estimation technique was proposed and its applicability for being used in surgical applications was verified experimentally. In the end, concluding remarks and recommendations for future studies are provided.