Automated catheter navigation with electromagnetic image guidance

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Jaeger, Herman A.
Nardelli, Pietro
O'Shea, Conor
Tugwell, Josef
Khan, Kashif A.
Power, Timothy
O'Shea, Michael
Kennedy, Marcus P.
Cantillon-Murphy, Pádraig
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Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
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This paper describes a novel method of controlling an endoscopic catheter by using an automated catheter tensioning system with the objective of providing clinicians with improved manipulation capabilities within the patient. Catheters are used in many clinical procedures to provide access to the cardiopulmonary system. Control of such catheters is performed manually by the clinicians using a handle, typically actuating a single or opposing set of pull wires. Such catheters are generally actuated in a single plane, requiring the clinician to rotate the catheter handle to navigate the system. The automation system described here allows closed-loop control of a custom bronchial catheter in tandem with an electromagnetic tracking of the catheter tip and image guidance by using a 3D Slicer. An electromechanical drive train applies tension to four pull wires to steer the catheter tip, with the applied force constantly monitored through force sensing load cells. The applied tension is controlled through a PC connected joystick. An electromagnetic sensor embedded in the catheter tip enables constant real-time position tracking, whereas a working channel provides a route for endoscopic instruments. The system is demonstrated and tested in both a breathing lung model and a preclinical animal study. Navigation to predefined targets in the subject's airways by using the joystick while using virtual image guidance and electromagnetic tracking was demonstrated. Average targeting times were 29 and 10 s, respectively, for the breathing lung and live animal studies. This paper presents the first reported remote controlled bronchial working channel catheter utilizing electromagnetic tracking and has many implications for future development in endoscopic and catheter-based procedures.
Bronchoscopy , Electromagnetic navigation , Automation
Jaeger, H. A., Nardelli, P., O'Shea, C., Tugwell, J., Khan, K. A., Power, T., O'Shea, M., Kennedy, M. P. and Cantillon-Murphy, P. (2017) 'Automated catheter navigation with electromagnetic image guidance', IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 64(8), pp. 1972-1979. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2016.2623383
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