Design of a Compact, Workflow-Oriented Robot for Transbronchial Lung Biopsy
Amack, Stephanie Rae
Lung cancer is one of the most prevalent and deadly forms of cancer, claiming more than 154,000 lives in the USA per year. Accurate targeting and biopsy of pulmonary abnormalities is key for early diagnosis and successful treatment. Many cancerous lesions originate in the peripheral regions of the lung which are not directly accessible from the bronchial tree, thereby requiring percutaneous approaches to collect biopsies, which carry a higher risk of pneumothorax, hemorrhage, and death in extreme cases. In prior work, our group proposed a concept for accessing the peripheral lung through the airways, through the combination of concentric tube robots and steerable needles. The advancements in this thesis pave the way to bringing the innovative combination of concentric tube robots and steerable needles closer to the operating room, through compact design and ease of tool loading of the robotic actuation unit. We present a new robotic hardware system design, tailored towards smooth integration into current bronchoscopy practices, and present advancements to tool design to increase the effective workspace of steerable needles, crucial to peripheral lung targeting.