Development of an Active Palpation Sensor for Detecting Prostatic Cancer and Hypertrophy

Mami Tanaka, Mitsuyuki Furubayashi, Yoshikatsu Tanahashi, Seiji Chonan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper is concerned with the development of an active palpation sensor for detecting the prostatic cancer and hypertrophy. The receptor of the sensor is a polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) film placed on the surface of a sponge rubber layer. It is fixed at the end of a slender bar and, being protected by a medical rubber glove, inserted into the examinee's rectum. After positioned face to face to the prostate gland, the sensor probe is driven sinusoidally at about 50 Hz with peak-to-peak amplitude 2 mm. The voltage signal from the PVDF film is integrated over the sampling period and used as the output of sensor for extracting the features of the collected data. The evaluation of stiffness by the sensor on 27 normal and unhealthy prostate glands are compared with the results of diagnosis by the doctor's palpation. It is shown that the output of sensor becomes greater with an increase of the stiffness of the prostate gland, which has good correlation with the doctor's evaluation on the stiffness. Further results on the laboratory test reconfirm that the present sensor well discriminates the stiffness of the prostate glands in vivo and non-invasively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1032-1037
Number of pages6
JournalNihon Kikai Gakkai Ronbunshu, C Hen/Transactions of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, Part C
Issue number656
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Clinical Test
  • Measurement of Organic Stiffness
  • Palpation Sensor
  • Prostatic Cancer and Hypertrophy
  • PVDF Film


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