Recent advances in fluorescence confocal endomicroscopy have allowed real-time identification of residual tumour cells on the walls of the cavity left by breast conserving surgery. However, it is difficult to systematically survey the surgical site because of the small imaging field-of-view of these probes, compounded by tissue deformation and inconsistent probe-tissue contact when operated manually. Therefore, a new robotized scanning device is required for controlled, large area scanning and mosaicing. This paper presents a robotic scanning probe with an inflatable balloon, providing stable cavity scanning over undulating surfaces. It has a compact design, with an outer diameter of 4 mm and a working channel of 2.2 mm, suitable for a leached flexible fibre bundle endomicroscope probe. With the probe inserted, the tip positioning accuracy measured to be 0.26 mm for bending and 0.17 mm for rotational motions. Large area scanning was achieved (25–35 mm2) and the experimental results demonstrate the potential clinical value of the device for intraoperative cavity tumour margin evaluation.
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The authors would like to thank Dr. Daniel R Leff and Vyas Khushi for providing the breast tissue and discussion for ex vivo experiments, and to Petros Giataganas for discussions with mechanical design. This work was supported by EPSRC grant EP/IO27769/1: SMART Endomicroscopy.
Conflict of interest
Associate Editor Xiaoxiang Zheng oversaw the review of this article.
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Zuo, S., Hughes, M. & Yang, GZ. Novel Balloon Surface Scanning Device for Intraoperative Breast Endomicroscopy. Ann Biomed Eng 44, 2313–2326 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10439-015-1493-2
- Breast conserving surgery
- Confocal endomicroscopy
- Image mosaicing
- Mechanical design
- Surgical robot