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NA-MIC Project Weeks

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Ultrasound navigation training system for breast biopsy

Key Investigators

Project Description

We aiming at developing an affordable ultrasound navigation system for breast biopsy training, following the philosophy of the systems for vascular insertion presented in previous Project Weeks. The system comprises the construction of the breast phantom —including the tumor—, the position tracking of medical instruments —ultrasound probe and biopsy needle—, and the calculation of basic metrics to evaluate the efficiency in training exercise performance.


  1. Construct an ultrasound phantom for training breast biopsy
  2. Set up the OptiTrack V120:Duo system to track the ultrasound probe and the biopsy needle
  3. Analyze registered tacking data and compute performance metrics.

Approach and Plan

  1. Test and select materials in order to mimic breast tumors echogenicity
  2. Build the breast phantom with tumors
  3. Configure the OptiTrack V120:Duo tracking system and the corresponding device available in the PLUS to send the position data to 3D Slicer
  4. Customize the interface to this particular procedure (breast biopsy)
  5. Define some simple metrics to evaluate training performance and implement the algorithms to compute them in a manner similar to the one proposed in the Perk Tutor.

Progress and Next Steps

  1. A tailor-made coarse approach to breast phantom using agar-agar gelatine was created. Its costs is below 8 USD and it is usable at room temperature for more than one week, time enough to complete an introductory course in this procedure. We also tested some common materials, available at home or in grocery stores, to mimic mammary tumors
  2. The setup of the navigation system connecting both, ultrasound and tracking system to Slicer via PLUS Server has been completed.
  3. Customization of the user interface developed for the previous work on vessel insertion was considered good enough and therefore no change was needed.


Phantom Custom breast phantom.

Tracking OptiTrack V120:Duo position tracking system.

System US Nav system. Test of position-tracking of tools and phantom ecogenicity.

detail Detail of the user interface.

Background and References