Soft Miniaturized Actuation and Sensing Units for Dynamic Force Control of Cardiac Ablation Catheters
- Journal Article
Recently, there has been active research in finding robotized solutions for the treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF) by augmenting catheter systems through the integration of force sensors at the tip. However, limited research has been aimed at providing automatic force control by also integrating actuation of the catheter tip, which can significantly enhance safety in such procedures. This article solves the demanding challenge of miniaturizing both actuation and sensing for integration into flexible catheters. Fabrication strategies are presented for a series of novel soft thick-walled cylindrical actuators, with embedded sensing using eutectic gallium–indium. The functional catheter tips have a diameter in the range of 2.6–3.6 mm and can both generate and detect forces in the range of < 0.4 N, with a bandwidth of 1–2 Hz. The deformation modeling of thick-walled cylinders with fiber reinforcement is presented in the article. An experimental setup developed for static and dynamic characterization of these units is presented. The prototyped units were validated with respect to the design specifications. The preliminary force control results indicate that these units can be used in tracking and control of contact force, which has the potential to make AF procedures much safer and more accurate. Show more
Journal / seriesSoft Robotics
Pages / Article No.
PublisherMary Ann Liebert
SubjectMedical robotics; Soft actuators; Soft sensors; Force control; Cardiac ablation; Catheters
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