Researcher in the Spotlight: Jeffrey van Pinxteren

I try to improve the mechanical structure of an interventional X-ray system

Hello, my name is Jeffrey van Pinxteren and I’m a PhD candidate at the research group Control Systems Technology - Constructions and Mechanisms within the department Mechanical Engineering. Professor Maarten Steinbuch is my promotor. At the request of Philips Healthcare I do research on creating novel mechatronic concepts, for accurate positioning of X-ray equipment in interventional X-ray systems.

In my research, I try to improve the mechanical structure of an interventional X-ray system. Since ‘to improve’ is a very broad research goal, I’ve made various conceptual designs, with specific objectives in mind (e.g. improved image quality, lower system cost, and optimized clinical workflow). Each objective allows a specific set of requirements to be defined in terms of motion range, speed, and required positioning accuracy.  

A lay out to execute this position task

An interventional X-ray system is used in various clinical applications, which involve multiple physicians, nurses, and medical equipment. While operating in this diverse and crowded environment, the system should provide accurate positioning and alignment of the X-ray source and detector, over a large, three dimensional range of motion. The challenge is to find a mechanical or mechatronic system layout which is able to execute this positioning task, without providing obstruction to the medical procedure and staff.

Conceptual designs

My work is of interest for the stakeholders at Philips Healthcare. Our collaboration allows me to collect relevant information from the clinical applications, and technical state of art. As a PhD candidate, I am able to work outside their usual routine, and come up with creative and novel mechanical system designs. At a later stage, I hope that parts of these designs will be implemented in clinical practice. I started my PhD research on April 2016. Up till now my research has resulted in three conceptual designs, of which one is valued to be most promising for future applications. I am therefore currently working on a full scale mock-up, and a detailed mechanical design for this concept.

Matched research

My research matches with the research of Rishi Mohan. He is also a PhD candidate at the Mechanical Engineering department. As my research partly focusses on reducing obstructions from the X-ray system to the medical procedure. Rishi’s work provides a valuable addition to this aspect, by developing sensor based solutions for collision avoidance. An interventional X-ray system is a very useful tool for many medical procedures. Our research aims to improve this tool.