HomeProjectsBiomedical Sciences and Healthcare TechnologiesPressure Sensor Array for Locating Tumor in Minimally-invasive Surgery

Pressure Sensor Array for Locating Tumor in Minimally-invasive Surgery

Project Quick Facts

Principal Investigator

  • Prof. ZHAO Ni

    Department of Electronic Engineering

  • Funding Sources

    Innovation and Technology Commission

  • Collaboration

    Guangdong University of Technology

This project aims to develop a high-resolution flexible pressure sensor array through a two-step laser manufacturing process, where individual sensing pixels and their interconnects are sequentially defined by laser induced graphitization and ablation to minimize crosstalk interferences between sensor pixels. The geometry of the interconnects is optimized through theoretical modeling and experimental validation. Characterization results show that the new device design induces a remarkable reduction of the crosstalk coefficient, from −8.21 to −43.63 dB, of the 0.7 mm-resolution sensor arrays, and the crosstalk suppression is particularly beneficial for application scenarios involving pressure sensing on soft surfaces (e.g., human skin and organs). Applications of the sensor array in minimally-invasive cancer surgery is demonstrated.

(a) Fabrication process of the PR material array with the serpentine interconnect. (b) Top view of the active layer, including sensing pixels and insulating serpentine paths. (c) Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image of the active layer. Materials from the bottom to the top: PDMS, residual PI, graphene foam filled with PDMS (yellow colored). (d) Picture of the material array. (e) Picture of an encapsulated pressure sensor array.

Uniqueness and Competitive Advantages

• A two-step laser manufacturing method is introduced to address the crosstalk problem in pressure sensor arrays at low fabrication cost

• Through theoretical modeling and experimental validation, a serpentine interconnect design yields the best result, from −8.21 to −43.63 dB, greatly reducing the crosstalk between individual pixels

• Serpentine interconnect design is particularly beneficial for pressure mapping on soft surfaces (e.g. human skin and organs)

• An 8 × 8 sensor array with a high resolution of 0.7 mm is achieved, with individual pixels exhibiting a high sensitivity, a wide pressure working range, a fast response time and good cycle stability

• The sensor array can locate the tumor edge with approximate millimeter accuracy

Application demonstration of the pressure sensor array. (a) Illustration of a tumour cell cluster inside the normal tissue. (b) Picture of the tissue model containing a tumour mass (dyed with rose red colour). (c) Picture of a Da Vinci surgical system. (d) Picture of the 1*5 pressure sensor array attached on the Force Bipolar of the Da vinci system. (e) Pictures of Force Bipolar with the sensor array clipping different positions of the tissue model in (b). (f) Signals on the 1*5 pressure sensor array during the process shown in (e).

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