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Three-dimensional catheter tip force sensing using multi-core fiber Bragg gratings
Journal Contribution - Journal Article
Awareness of catheter tip interaction forces is a crucial aspect during cardiac ablation procedures. The most important contact forces are the ones that originate between the catheter tip and the beating cardiac tissue. Clinical studies have shown that effective ablation occurs when contact forces are in the proximity of 0.2 N. Lower contact forces lead to ineffective ablation, while higher contact forces may result in complications such as cardiac perforation. Accurate and high resolution force sensing is therefore indispensable in such critical situations. Accordingly, this work presents the development of a unique and novel catheter tip force sensor utilizing a multi-core fiber with inscribed fiber Bragg gratings. A customizable helical compression spring is designed to serve as the flexural component relaying external forces to the multi-core fiber. The limited number of components, simple construction, and compact nature of the sensor makes it an appealing solution towards clinical translation. An elaborated approach is proposed for the design and dimensioning of the necessary sensor components. The approach also presents a unique method to decouple longitudinal and lateral force measurements. A force sensor prototype and a dedicated calibration setup are developed to experimentally validate the theoretical performance. Results show that the proposed force sensor exhibits 7.4 mN longitudinal resolution, 0.8 mN lateral resolution, 0.72 mN mean longitudinal error, 0.96 mN mean lateral error, a high repeatability, and excellent decoupling between longitudinal and lateral forces.
Journal: Frontiers in Robotics and AI