Payal Rana

Date of Award



Each year in the U.S., approximately 420,000 ultrasound-guided needle biopsies are performed to obtain a tissue sample from an abnormal mass. Even with the aid of real-time ultrasound imaging, this procedure is often a complicated mental and visual task. Specifically, it is difficult to ascertain and maintain an appropriate angle of needle insertion. Inaccurate needle insertion may result in greater perceived soreness and higher rates of infection, bleeding, and tissue damage. A device was engineered in order to overcome the aforementioned challenges: Laser Ultrasound-Guided Biopsy Needle Aid (LUNA). LUNA facilitates easier and more accurate insertion of the needle, as compared to the free-hand method. The system projects an image onto the screen of a smartphone that is secured to an ultrasound probe. The smartphone, in turn, displays a guide, which, when matched with the laser-projection, results in proper needle orientation for insertion. Initial testing demonstrates that the LUNA system, given only the depth and biopsy location, can hit the target mass, on the first attempt, at rates up to 91.7%.