Research Paper

Dielectric Elastomer Jet Valve for Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Compatible Robotics

[+] Author and Article Information
Sylvain Proulx

e-mail: sylvain.proulx2@usherbrooke.ca

Jean-Philippe Lucking Bigué

e-mail: jean-philippe.lucking.bigue@usherbrooke.ca

Patrick Chouinard

e-mail: patrick.chouinard@usherbrooke.ca

Geneviève Miron

e-mail: genevieve.miron@usherbrooke.ca

Jean-Sébastien Plante

e-mail: jean-sebastien.plante@usherbrooke.ca
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Université de Sherbrooke,
Sherbrooke, QC J1K 2R1, Canada

Manuscript received October 21, 2011; final manuscript received December 15, 2012; published online June 24, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Ming-Yih Lee.

J. Med. Devices 7(2), 021002 (Jun 24, 2013) (7 pages) Paper No: MED-11-1095; doi: 10.1115/1.4024157 History: Received October 21, 2011; Revised December 15, 2012

This paper presents the design and experimental characterization of a binary jet valve, specifically developed to control an all-polymer needle manipulator during intramagnetic resonance imaging (MRI) prostate interventions (biopsies and brachytherapies). The key feature of the MRI-compatible valve is its compact dual-stage configuration. The first stage is composed of a low-friction jet nozzle, driven by a small rotary dielectric elastomer actuator (DEA). The second stage provides sufficient air flow and stability for the binary robotic application through an independent air supply, activated by a bistable spool. A hyperelastic stress-strain model is used to optimize the geometrical dimensions of the DEA jet assembly. Fully functional valve prototypes, made with 3M's VHB 4905 films, are monitored with a high-speed camera in order to quantify the system's shifting dynamics. The impact of nozzle clearance, dielectric elastomer film viscoelasticity, mechanical friction, and actuator torque generation on overall dynamic behavior of two different valve setups is discussed. Results show an overall shifting time of 200–300 ms when the friction of the nozzle and DEA actuation stretches are minimized. Low shifting time combined with compactness, simplicity, and low cost suggest that the low friction DEA-driven jet valves have great potential for switching a large number of pneumatic circuits in an MRI environment as well as in traditional pneumatic applications.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Chan, T. Y., Chan, D. Y., Stutzman, K. L., and Epstein, J. I., 2001, “Does Increased Needle Biopsy Sampling of the Prostate Detect a Higher Number of Potentially Insignificant Tumors?,” J. Urol., 166(6), pp. 2181–2184. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Jemal, A., Siegel, R., and Ward, E. M., 2009, “Cancer Facts and Figures 2009,” American Cancer Society, Technical Report.
Menard, C., Susil, R., Choyke, P., Gustafson, G., Kammerer, W., Ning, H., Miller, R., Ullman, K., Searscrouse, N., and Smith, S., 2004, “MRI-Guided HDR Prostate Brachytherapy in Standard 1.5T Scanner,” Int. J. Radiat. Oncol., Biol., Phys., 59(5), pp. 1414–1423. [CrossRef]
Pondman, K., Ftterer, J., ten Haken, B., Schultze Kool, L., Witjes, J., Hambrock, T., Macura, K., and Barentsz, J., 2008, “MR-Guided Biopsy of the Prostate: An Overview of Techniques and a Systematic Review,” Eur. Urol., 54(3), pp. 517–527. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Kirkham, A. P. S., Emberton, M., and Allen, C., 2006, “How Good is MRI at Detecting and Characterising Cancer Within the Prostate?,” Eur. Urol., 50(6), pp. 1163–1174. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Plante, J.-S., Tadakuma, K., DeVita, L. M., Kacher, D. F., Roebuck, J. R., DiMaio, S. P., Jolesz, F. A., and Dubowsky, S., 2009, “An MRI-Compatible Needle Manipulator Concept Based on Elastically Averaged Dielectric Elastomer Actuators for Prostate Cancer Treatment: An Accuracy and MR-Compatibility Evaluation in Phantoms,” ASME J. Med. Devices, 3(3), p. 031005. [CrossRef]
Stoianovici, D., Song, D., Petrisor, D., Ursu, D., Mazilu, D., Muntener, M., Schar, M., and Patriciu, A., 2007, “‘MRI Stealth’ Robot for Prostate Interventions,” Minimally Invasive Ther. Allied Technol., 16(4), pp. 241–248. [CrossRef]
Krieger, A., Iordachita, I., Song, S.-E., Cho, N., Guion, P., Fichtinger, G., and Whitcomb, L., 2010, “Development and Preliminary Evaluation of an Actuated MRI-Compatible Robotic Device for MRI-Guided Prostate Intervention,” Proceedings of the 2010 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), Anchorage, AK, May 3–7, pp. 1066–1073. [CrossRef]
Fischer, G. S., Iordachita, I., Csoma, C., Tokuda, J., Mewes, P. W., Tempany, C. M., Hata, N., and Fichtinger, G., 2008, “Pneumatically Operated MRI-Compatible Needle Placement Robot for Prostate Interventions,” Proceedings of the 2008 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2008), Pasadena, CA, May 19–23, pp. 2489–2495. [CrossRef]
Proulx, S., Miron, G., Girard, A., and Plante, J.-S., 2010, “Experimental Validation of an Elastically Averaged Binary Manipulator for MRI-Guided Prostate Cancer Interventions,” Proceedings of the ASME 2010 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, Montreal, Canada, August 15–18, ASME Paper No. DETC2010-28235. [CrossRef]
Miron, G., Girard, A., Plante, J.-S., and Lepage, M., 2013, “Design and Manufacturing of Embedded Air-Muscles for a Magnetic Resonance Imaging Compatible Prostate Cancer Binary Manipulator,” ASME J. Mech. Des., 135(1), p. 011003. [CrossRef]
Macura, K. J., and Stoianovici, D., 2008, “Advancements in Magnetic Resonance-Guided Robotic Interventions in the Prostate,” Top. Magn. Reson. Imaging, 19(6), pp. 297–304. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Carpi, F., Khanicheh, A., Mavroidis, C., and De Rossi, D., 2008, “MRI Compatibility of Silicone-Made Contractile Dielectric Elastomer Actuators,” IEEE/ASME Trans. Mechatron., 13(3), pp. 370–374. [CrossRef]
Kornbluh, R., Pelrine, R., Joseph, J., Pei, Q., and Chiba, S., 1999, “Ultra-High Strain Response of Elastomeric Polymer Dielectrics,” MRS Proceedings, Vol. 600, Materials Research Society Fall Meeting, Boston, November 29–December 3, pp. 119–130. [CrossRef]
Flittner, K., Lotz, P., Matysek, M., Schlosser, M., and Schlaak, H., 2009, “Integrated Gas Valve Array Using Dielectric Elastomer Actuators,” Proc. SPIE, 7287, p. 72872C. [CrossRef]
Jhong, Y.-Y., Huang, C.-M., Hsieh, C.-C., and Fu, C.-C., 2007, “Improvement of Viscoelastic Effects of Dielectric Elastomer Actuator and Its Application for Valve Devices,” Proc. SPIE, 6524, p. 65241Y. [CrossRef]
Bonwit, N., Heim, J., Rosenthal, M., Duncheon, C., and Beavers, A., 2006, “Design of Commercial Applications of EPAM Technology,” Proc. SPIE, 6168, p. 616805. [CrossRef]
Krivts, I. L., and Krejnin, G. V., 2006, Pneumatic Actuating Systems for Automatic Equipment: Structure and Design, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.
Lucking Bigué, J.-P., Chouinard, P., Proulx, S., Miron, G., and Plante, J.-S., 2009, “Preliminary Assessment of Manufacturing Impacts on Dielectric Elastomer Actuators Reliability,” Cansmart 2009 International Workshop—Smart Materials and Structures, Montreal, QC, Canada, October 22–23.
Plante, J.-S., and Dubowsky, S., 2006, “Large-Scale Failure Modes of Dielectric Elastomer Actuators,” Int. J. Solids Struct., 43(25–26), pp. 7727–7751. [CrossRef]
Vogan, J. D., 2004, “Development of Dielectric Elastomer Actuators for MRI Devices,” S.M. thesis, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.
Lucking Bigué, J.-P., and Plante, J.-S., 2013, “Experimental Study of Dielectric Elastomer Actuator Energy Conversion Efficiency,” IEEE/ASME Trans. Mechatron., 18(1), pp. 169–177. [CrossRef]
Chouinard, P., and Plante, J., 2010, “Bistable Antagonistic Dielectric Elastomer Actuators for Binary Robotics and Mechatronics,” IEEE/ASME Trans. Mechatron., 17, pp. 857–865. [CrossRef]
Wissler, M., and Mazza, E., 2007, “Electromechanical Coupling in Dielectric Elastomer Actuators,” Sens. Actuators, A, 138(2), pp. 384–393. [CrossRef]
Kofod, G., Sommer-Larsen, P., Kornbluh, R., and Pelrine, R., 2003, “Actuation Response of Polyacrylate Dielectric Elastomers,” J. Intell. Mater. Syst. Struct., 14(12), pp. 787–793. [CrossRef]
Brochu, P., and Pei, Q., 2010, “Advances in Dielectric Elastomers for Actuators and Artificial Muscles,” Macromol. Rapid Commun., 31(1), pp. 10–36. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Wissler, M., 2007, “Modeling Dielectric Elastomer Actuators,” Ph.D. thesis, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
Kessler, M. R., and Palakodeti, P., 2006, “Influence of Frequency and Prestrain on the Mechanical Efficiency of Dielectric Electroactive Polymer Actuators,” Mater. Lett., 60(29–30), pp. 3437–3440. [CrossRef]
Pelrine, R., Kornbluh, R., and Joseph, J., 1998, “Electrostriction of Polymer Dielectrics With Compliant Electrodes as a Means of Actuation,” Sens. Actuators A: Physical, 64(1), pp. 77–85. [CrossRef]


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Section view of stage 1

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Unactuated (left) and actuated DEA (right)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Overall and section view of the dual-stage MRI compatible valve

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Laboratory prototype of an elastically averaged binary manipulator that uses solenoid air valves (left) and a conceptual binary manipulator that integrates MRI-compatible DEA valves within the MRI bore (right)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Forces exerted on the jet assembly and geometrical parameters

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Influence of nozzle clearance on the pressure inside the chamber and on the reaction force on the nozzle

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Design spade for h1 = 1 mm and V = 6.5 kV

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Illustration of the clearance in valve designs D1 and D2

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Design D1: shifting curves

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Design D2: shifting curves

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Schematic view (left) and photo (right) of the experimental setup used for valve characterization

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Design D1: torque measurements of the jet assembly at different angular velocity

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

Design D2: torque measurements of the jet assembly at different angular velocity




Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In