By the same authors

From the same journal

From the same journal

Dynamic Piezoelectric Tactile Sensor for Tissue Hardness Measurement using Symmetrical Flexure Hinges and Anisotropic Vibration Modes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Published copy (DOI)


  • Wenchao Yue
  • Feng Ju
  • Yingxuan Zhang
  • Yahui Yun
  • Tianliang Li
  • Zion Tszhao Tse
  • Hongliang Ren


Publication details

JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
DateAccepted/In press - 2021
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 3 Jun 2021
Number of pages11
Early online date3/06/21
Original languageEnglish


This paper presents a novel dynamic tactile sensor with a symmetrical longitudinal piezoelectric cantilever structure, which is different from the conventional transverse cantilever structure. It has a radical size of 1.1 centimeters. A flexible hinge chain and mass probe are introduced into the structure to reduce the sensor’s natural frequency to improve the estimation accuracy of tissue hardness. Double piezoelectric patches, symmetrically distributed in the sensor, are used as the actuator to generate vibration and as the sensor for resonance detection. The sensor’s basic working principle is derived mathematically, followed by simulation verification of statics analysis for safety consideration, anisotropic vibration mode analysis, harmonic response analysis, and a calibration experiment to establish fitting curves. The threshold point is set as 192 Hz/ 0.6 MPa in the calibration curve, and the hardness range is divided into a soft range (0–0.6 MPa) with the sensitivity of 9.75 Hz/ MPa, which could realize hardness measurement of soft tissue and normal tissue, and a hard range (which exceeds 0.6 MPa) with higher frequency to realize the identification of the lesion tissue. Finally, the sensor prototype is tested on biological tissue (fresh pig liver) to verify that the calibration curve with the selected threshold is effective for identifying lesion areas and that the sensor prototype has a function of hardness measurement with a relatively stable sensitivity and lesion identification in its operating frequency range.

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • dynamic tactile sensor, flexure hinge, Force, Frequency measurement, Minimally invasive surgical robot, piezoelectric vibration, Probes, Resonant frequency, Sensors, Tactile sensors, tissue hardness detection, Vibrations

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