Master's projects

Magnetic-actuation for steerable catheter

fig-catheter-pmEndovascular Aortic Repair (EVAR) is the most common technique to repair abdominal aortic aneurysm. The procedure consists in placing an expandable stent graft within the aorta using a catheter. Stent grafts are typically inserted in a minimally invasive manner via the arteries in the groin using X-ray guidance to position them accurately. Magnetic resonance (MR) images have major advantages over the conventional X-ray image guidance, such as true three-dimensional images without ionizing radiation and the use of MR techniques to visualize the vascular tree without nephrotoxic contrast agents. However, the promise of endovascular MR image-guided procedures remains unrealized in part because of the lack of MR-compatible steerable. Therefore, an MR-compatible catheter will assist the surgeon to precisely perform complex task, such as work over steep angles and catheterization of the internal iliac artery, with a reduced surgical procedure time and without radiation delivered to the patient.

Project: Different actuation approaches can be used to steer the catheter inside the MR bore, such as the mechanics-based approach used in tendon-driven catheter and a magnetic based approach. The goal of this project is to conduct a feasibility study on magnetic-based catheter steering inside the MR scanner. The magnetic-based actuation will be accomplished by placing miniaturized coils or small magnets at the tip of the catheter. The prototype will be tested by performing preliminary experiments in the lab and inside the MR bore.