Thyroid Biopsy Simulator

Created on 9/16/2022, Updated 4/25/2024

CSSALT worked with colleagues from the UF Division of Endocrinology and Department of Radiology to develop a mixed-reality simulator for ultrasound-guided thyroid biopsy.

Thyroid nodules affect up to 60% of people, and an important goal of their evaluation is to rule out thyroid cancer. An effective thyroid biopsy requires anatomical knowledge and visuospatial comprehension of the thyroid and surrounding structures, as well as technical needling skills for proper guidance and sampling.

To address gaps in current instructional technologies for thyroid biopsy, we have developed a new mixed-reality simulator for ultrasound-guided thyroid biopsy. This simulation offers: 1) a 3D perspective visualization of relevant anatomy with tactile feedback, 2) cognitive aids for needling and precise acquisition of needle tip to nodule target distance, and 3) nodules varying in presentation to reflect clinically observed variability. The physical components of an existing simulator developed at CSSALT for central venous access were adapted for the thyroid biopsy simulator. The thyroid biopsy simulation is currently being adapted and further developed to simulate radiofrequency ablation for the treatment of thyroid nodules.