Vol. 4, No. 5, 2009

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An endoscopic grasper with corrugated plate-shaped tactile sensors

Mohammad Ameen Qasaimeh, Mohammadreza Ramezanifard and Javad Dargahi

Vol. 4 (2009), No. 5, 913–926

One of the major weaknesses in current endoscopic surgery is the lack of tactile feedback. This paper reports on the design, finite element modeling, and experimental testing of a corrugated tactile sensor. The sensor, a miniaturized and modified form of our previously developed tactile sensor, consists of a 75 μm plate-shaped silicon layer and a 25 μm polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) film, patterned on both sides using photolithographic techniques to form three independent sensing elements. The sensor is 15 mm long, 7.5 mm wide, and approximately 3 mm thick, which could make it versatile enough for integration with current endoscopic and medical robotics manipulators. The silicon layer is micromachined in such a way that a U-channel is formed. When a force is applied on the tactile sensor, output voltages from the patterned PVDF-sensing elements are combined to obtain tactile information. Results show that the sensor exhibits high sensitivity and can measure small dynamic loads, comparable to a human pulse, as well as large grasping forces. In addition to measuring the magnitude and position of the applied load, the sensor can determine the modulus of elasticity of the grasped object.

tactile sensor, endoscopic grasper, minimally invasive surgery, microfabricated sensor
Received: 12 May 2008
Revised: 18 April 2009
Accepted: 17 May 2009
Published: 5 September 2009
Mohammad Ameen Qasaimeh
Biomedical Engineering Department
McGill University
740 Dr. Penfield Avenue
Montreal, QC  H3A 1A4
Mohammadreza Ramezanifard
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Concordia University
1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W
Montreal, QC  H3G 1M8
Javad Dargahi
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Concordia University
1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W
Montreal, QC  H3G 1M8