Surgical needles have been used in many percutaneous needle-based procedures such as biopsy and brachytherapy in recent years. The needle-based procedures have replaced open surgeries to perform the tasks with minimal invasiveness to the tissue. Precise needle insertion at target position in cancer diagnostic and therapeutic procedures governs the success of such procedures. This work presents a cable-driven 3D steerable needle for improved guidance inside the tissue towards the target. The needle is manipulated by pulling cable tendons via programmed stepper motors. Feasibility tests in air and in a tissue-mimicking phantom showed an average 3D needle deflection of 11.06 and 10.49 degrees, respectively. The controlled (on demand) 3D deflection of this needle is expected to assist surgeons in trajectory tracking and targeting accuracies. This amount of deflection, when combined with needle steering systems with path planning, can potentially realize higher deflections with small radius of curvature.

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