• Physics-Informed Modeling and Control of Multi-Actuator Soft Catheter Robots.

      Ghoreishi, Seyede Fatemeh; Sochol, Ryan D; Gandhi, Dheeraj; Krieger, Axel; Fuge, Mark (Frontiers Media S.A., 2022-01-14)
      Catheter-based endovascular interventional procedures have become increasingly popular in recent years as they are less invasive and patients spend less time in the hospital with less recovery time and less pain. These advantages have led to a significant growth in the number of procedures that are performed annually. However, it is still challenging to position a catheter in a target vessel branch within the highly complicated and delicate vascular structure. In fact, vessel tortuosity and angulation, which cause difficulties in catheterization and reaching the target site, have been reported as the main causes of failure in endovascular procedures. Maneuverability of a catheter for intravascular navigation is a key to reaching the target area; ability of a catheter to move within the target vessel during trajectory tracking thus affects to a great extent the length and success of the procedure. To address this issue, this paper models soft catheter robots with multiple actuators and provides a time-dependent model for characterizing the dynamics of multi-actuator soft catheter robots. Built on this model, an efficient and scalable optimization-based framework is developed for guiding the catheter to pass through arteries and reach the target where an aneurysm is located. The proposed framework models the deflection of the multi-actuator soft catheter robot and develops a control strategy for movement of catheter along a desired trajectory. This provides a simulation-based framework for selection of catheters prior to endovascular catheterization procedures, assuring that given a fixed design, the catheter is able to reach the target location. The results demonstrate the benefits that can be achieved by design and control of catheters with multiple number of actuators for navigation into small vessels.