Design and validation of an epidural needle insertion simulator with haptic feedback for training resident anaesthesiologists

Vinoth Manoharan, Dennis Van Gerwen, John J. Van Den Dobbelsteen, Jenny Dankelman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Epidural needle insertion is a complex procedure that requires training of residents' psychomotor skills using simulators, alternative to training on cadavers and real patients. Haptic feedback is a key feature in the development of such simulators. Its three important aspects are: i) to provide a realistic simulation, ii) to objectively measure the performance of users, and iii) to classify the users. A high-fidelity simulator is often considered to be the best choice to produce a realistic simulation. However, the trade-off between fidelity of the simulator to its cost is still a key issue and it depends on the objective of simulation. One way to address this issue is to simulate only the important (clinically) haptic cues. In this paper a low-fidelity custom built two degree-of-freedom (1DOF for needle insertion and 1DOF for needle orientation along the midline) haptic interface has been developed and clinically validated by expert/resident anaesthesiologists. The proposed haptic interface provides high translational force by means of a motor and rotational torque by means of a brake. The simulator simulates needle-tissue and needle-bone interaction forces. It has a graphical user interface that displays a cross-sectional image (midline) of the patient's lumbar anatomy. It also incorporates simulation of different virtual patients. The initial face and construct validity tests show promising results for further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings IEEE Haptics Symposium 2012
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ, USA
ISBN (Print)9781467308090
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event2012 IEEE Haptics Symposium, HAPTICS 2012 - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Duration: 4 Mar 20127 Mar 2012


Conference2012 IEEE Haptics Symposium, HAPTICS 2012
CityVancouver, BC


  • Epidural
  • Haptic interface design
  • Needle insertion
  • Simulator
  • Validation

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Design and validation of an epidural needle insertion simulator with haptic feedback for training resident anaesthesiologists'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this