Simulation and Modelling of Needle Insertion
Supervisor: Dr Z A Taylor

Needle insertion is a common surgical procedure, yet accurate placement of a needle tip deeper within the tissue is difficult; thin needles may bend as they pass through the tissue, and the tissue itself will likely deform so that the target moves. This can be very important in many applications: when extracting samples via needle-biopsy we want to be sure they are retrieved from the right place, and when inserting electrodes into the brain for deep brain simulation we want to be sure the intended area is going to be electrocuted!

A reliable model of the insertion process can allow the trajectory of the needle and the location of the tip to be predicted. Surgeons can then use this technology to plan and guide insertions, and therefore improve their reliability. There are many avenues for investigation in this area, e.g. exploration of the mechanical environment around the needle, formulation of damage models of the tissues, development of computational approaches for the deformation and rupture of the tissue, and experimental validation of models.
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