Development of ultra-thin multi-steerable catheter technology suited for soft-robotic navigation through complex vascular structures
Combining experience on intuitive human-machine interfaces (HMIs) for MIS with know-how on the development of mechanical hand-held steerable catheters for complex interventions in the heart, ESR1 will push the current technology frontiers further by developing a new class of multi-steerable catheters controlled by electro-mechanical soft-robotic actuators. The research will have two main goals: 1) to combine soft-robotic actuation with advanced steering technology inspired by clever design principles from nature (octopus, wasp) to develop novel ultrathin multi-steerable catheters for navigation through complex lumens. 2)to include knowledge on human depth perception and eye-hand coordination, to optimize HMIs to allow intuitive control overthe multi-steerable catheters designs from 3D control actions and 2D CT/MRI images. Collaborating with clinical experts, the soft-robotic catheter technology will enable complex vascular interventions (e.g. treatment of chronic total occlusions) or stress-free passage through narrow ureter. Cases which are hard to carry out with existing technology. The catheters will be evaluated ex-vivo in accurate anatomic 3D-printed lumen models.