Micro-engineered remote palpation device for assessing tissue compliance

M. Hien*, T. H. J. Yang, S. K. W. Leung, R. L. Reuben, F. K. Habib, S. A. McNeill, A. Schneider, G. McBride, R. Stevens, R. W. Else

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper concerns the operation of the actuator for a prototype micro-engineered mechanical palpation device for deployment via a cystoscope to measure the dynamic mechanical properties of the prostate gland in vivo. The sub-assembly consists of a 400 x 200 mu m silicon (Si) piston manufactured using deep reactive ion etching (DRIE) housed within an anodically bonded glass-Si-glass sandwiched housing. The micro-channel on the Si layer was formed by powder blasting and contains the micro-piston with one end pointing to the side of the housing and the other facing a via hole leading to a capillary tube. The opening on the side of the housing was sealed by a 5 mu m thick silicone membrane which acts to retain the micro-piston and act as a return spring. A 320 mu m diameter capillary forms the connection between the micro-channel and a micro-syringe which is operated by a programmable syringe pump to produce a reciprocating action. A pressure sensor is connected along the capillary tube to measure the dynamic pressure within the system. The micro-piston has already been used, separately actuated to measure the dynamic mechanical properties of known viscoelastic materials and prostate tissue. The purpose of the present work is to assess the functionality of the actuator assembly.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedicine Meets Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2nd Conference on Applied Biomechanics Regensburg: Studies in Health Technology and Informatics
EditorsJ Hammer, M Nerlich, S Dendorfer
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Event2nd Conference on Applied Biomechanics - Regensburg, Germany
Duration: 13 Jun 200715 Jun 2007

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
PublisherIOS Press
ISSN (Print)0926-9630


Conference2nd Conference on Applied Biomechanics


  • micro device
  • prostate
  • dynamic measurement


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