High-Performance of SMA-based Intelligent Catheters

High-performance in SMA-actuated systems
Application: Intelligent Catheters in Advanced Systems for Interventions

PhD Candidate: ir. Rolf Gaasbeek
Supervisor: dr.ir. Bram de Jager
Promotor: prof.dr.ir. Maarten Steinbuch
Project Period: February 2014 – February 2018

Diseases of the heart and circulatory system (cardiovascular disease or CVD) are the main causes of death in Europe. The advancement of techniques for minimally invasive management of CVD has contributed vitally to improving the prognosis of patients with CVD. Greatly contributing to that, are catheters and related tools, which are generally steered through simple mechanical pull wire systems. These have the disadvantage that they have restricted directionality, limited shape control and large force requirement. The use of SMA-actuators* integrated into the catheter would enable the realization of extremely flexible catheters.

* Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) is a lightweight material that can recover from extremely large deformation (~8%) by changing crystallographic structure.  This combination of being lightweight and having very high work output, make SMAs attractive for a wide variety of applications. However, due to the highly nonlinear hysteresis effect inherent to the crystallographic change, control of SMAs is challenging.

In this research we aim to realize high-performing control of a SMA-actuated catheter tip. By that we increase the possible applications of SMA-actuators and generate superior catheter performance, thus improve treatment of CVD.

More info: www.incite-project.eu