Laser surface texturing of medical needles for friction control

Peidong Han, Jaegu Kim, Kornel F. Ehmann*, Jian Cao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Surface texturing has been used to create micro-dimples or micro-channels on medical needles to increase the visibility of ultrasound-guided percutaneous procedures. However, micro-features usually increase the friction between the needle and biological tissue. Higher insertion forces lead to patient discomfort and undesired needle placement errors. The present work investigates the friction between the textured needles and soft tissue. The purpose is to understand the friction behaviour between a textured hard surface and soft materials and to identify texture patterns that would minimise the friction of needle insertion without compromising its ultrasound visibility. Laser surface texturing was performed on medical needles to generate an array of micro-channels with a variety of channel widths, area densities, and channel orientations. A set of friction tests was carried out using an especially designed setup for needle insertion. The effects of channel width, area density, and channel orientation on friction force were experimentally investigated. It was found that the tribological characteristics between a textured hard surface and soft tissue greatly depend on the size, density, and orientation of the micro-features.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-228
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Mechatronics and Manufacturing Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2013


  • Echogenic needle
  • Friction
  • LST
  • Laser surface texturing
  • Ultrasound visibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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