Design and experimental validation of an active catheter for endovascular navigation

[+] Author and Article Information
Thibault Couture

Service de Chirurgie vasculaire, Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, 52 Boulevard Vincent-Auriol, 75013 Paris

Jérôme Szewczyk

Institut des Systèmes Intelligents et de Robotique, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Boîte courrier 173, 4 place Jussieu 75252 Paris Cedex 05, France

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038334 History: Received January 27, 2017; Revised September 21, 2017


Endovascular technique has many advantages but relies strongly on operator skills and experience. Robotically steerable catheters have been developed but few are clinically available. We describe here the development of an active and efficient catheter based on Shape Memory Alloys (SMA) actuators. We first establish the specifications of our device considering anatomical constraints. We then present a new method for building active SMA-based catheters. The proposed method relies on the use of a core body made of three parallel metallic beams and integrates wire-shaped SMA actuators. The complete device is encapsulated into a standard catheter for safety purposes. A trial-error campaign comparing 70 different prototypes is then conducted to determine the best dimensions of the core structure and of the SMA actuators. The final prototype is tested on a silicon-based arterial model and on a 23-kg pig. During these experiments we were able to cannulate the supra-aortic trunks and the renal arteries with different angulations and without any complication. A second major contribution of this paper is a reliable mathematical model for predicting the bending angle of our active catheters. We first use this model to state some general qualitative rules useful for an iterative dimensional optimization. We then perform a quantitative comparison between the actual and the predicted bending angles for a set of 13 different prototypes. It happens that the relative error is less than 20% for bending angles between 100° and 150° which is the interval of interest for our applications.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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