Within the medical industry, catheter navigation is an emerging application that is rapidly gaining momentum.
FREMONT, CA:Catheters are extensively used to conduct an intervention within the blood vessels or airways. Conventional catheter ablation procedures have a success rate of 60 percent and can be very long – sometimes various hours. The medical guidewires utilized in some procedures are passive, meaning that they must be manipulated. They hence need a high level of expertise to be successfully guided through the narrow and tortuous circuitry of the vasculature, especially as guidewires can create friction and damage vessel linings if they get stuck in a tight space.
Repeat ablations due to failure of the initial operation are a common occurrence and dramatically increase treatment costs. To guide medical instruments inside a patient's blood vessels or airways, surgeons rely on X-ray imaging to offer an image of the instrument's location and direction. This means that surgeons are exposed to a high level of radiation regularly. Therefore, they require to wear protective gear, which may hinder their movements and reduce the efficiency of the procedure. Robotic systems may eliminate the requirement to manually push and manipulate the wire. This could significantly improve patient outcomes by accelerating the speed and efficiency of the intervention.
Surgeons could just perform the procedure from their location, increasing time to treatment and enhancing patient outcomes. The robotic navigation of catheters and endoscopes depends on a motor, a robotic advancer unit, to move the wire forwards and backward. Conventionally these units use motorized rollers to generate movement, however other methods.
The catheter or endoscope has a miniature magnet at its tip, which response to the external magnet's pull. Magnetic steering offers the surgeon a higher level of control of the instrument as it provides an extensive range of motion and lets rapid changes of direction. To magnetically guide medical instruments inside the body, the direction of the magnetic pull must be continually adjusted to navigate the instrument in different directions.