Development of a Fiber Bragg Grating-based Force Sensor for Minimally Invasive Surgery —Case Study of Ex-vivo Tissue Palpation

Lu Gan, Wenke Duan, Toluwanimi Oluwadara Akinyemi, Wenjing Du, Olatunji Mumini Omisore, Lei Wang

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, a one-dimensional distal force sensor design is proposed for minimally invasive surgery based on fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensing principle. The sensor is made with a miniaturized force-sensitive flexure within which an optical fiber is embedded. The former includes a spiral elastomer utilized for high axial force sensitivity, while the fiber includes dual FBGs that are tightly suspended around the distal parts of the flexure and along elastomer’s centerline, respectively. Theoretical model of the flexure was derived based on its components and a design approach for decoupling strain and temperature cross-effects during sensor usage. In addition, design parameters of the flexure were analyzed on physics-based model optimization using fmincon function, while the static and dynamic properties were analyzed in-silico using finite element method. Further experiments were also carried out to analyze the sensor’s performance, and the data obtained was used for calibration study. The latter was done by training a feed-forward neural network designed for predicting the force vs. wavelength-shift relationship. The experimental results show the designed force sensor design can sense force values in a range of 1N with an average relative error less than 2% of full scale. Ex-vivo tissue palpation experiments were further done on pig liver organs to verify the effectiveness and applicability of the proposed sensor design in minimally invasive surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4010012
JournalIEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • fiber Bragg grating
  • Force sensing
  • Non-linear fitting
  • Strain compensation
  • Tissue palpation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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