A force measurement platform for a vitreoretinal surgical simulator using an artificial eye module integrated with a quartz crystal resonator


Yuta Taniguchi, Hirotaka Sugiura, Toshiro Yamanaka, Shiro Watanabe, Seiji Omata, Kanako Harada, Mamoru Mitsuishi, Tomoyasu Shiraya, Koichiro Sugimoto, Takashi Ueta, Kiyohito Totsuka, Fumiyuki Araki, Muneyuki Takao, Makoto Aihara, and Fumihito Arai

To provide quantitative feedback on surgical progress to ophthalmologists practicing inner limiting membrane (ILM) peeling, we developed an artificial eye module comprising a quartz crystal resonator (QCR) force sensor and a strain body that serves as a uniform force transmitter beneath a retinal model. Although a sufficiently large initial force must be loaded onto the QCR force sensor assembly to achieve stable contact with the strain body, the highly sensitive and wide dynamic-range property of this sensor enables the eye module to detect the slight forceps contact force. A parallel-plate strain body is used to achieve a uniform force sensitivity over the 4-mm-diameter ILM peeling region. Combining these two components allowed for a measurable force range of 0.22 mN to 29.6 N with a sensitivity error within −11.3 to 4.2% over the ILM peeling area. Using this eye module, we measured the applied force during a simulation involving artificial ILM peeling by an untrained individual and compensated for the long-term drift of the obtained force data using a newly developed algorithm. The compensated force data clearly captured the characteristics of several types of motion sequences observed from video recordings of the eye bottom using an ophthalmological microscope. As a result, we succeeded in extracting feature values that can be potentially related to trainee skill level, such as the mean and standard deviation of the pushing and peeling forces, corresponding, in the case of an untrained operator, to 122.6 ± 95.2 and 20.4 ± 13.2 mN, respectively.

Microsystems & Nanoengineering: