High-resolution tactile imaging, superior to the sense of touch, has potential for future biomedical applications such as robotic surgery. In this paper, we propose a tactile imaging method, termed computational optical palpation, based on measuring the change in thickness of a thin, compliant layer with optical coherence tomography and calculating tactile stress using finite-element analysis. We demonstrate our method on test targets and on freshly excised human breast fibroadenoma, demonstrating a resolution of up to 15–25 µm and a field of view of up to 7 mm. Our method is open source and readily adaptable to other imaging modalities, such as ultrasonography and confocal microscopy.
- Received November 2, 2016.
- Accepted February 2, 2017.
- © 2017 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.