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Applied Bionics and Biomechanics
Volume 2017, Article ID 2712453, 13 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/2712453
Research Article

CathROB: A Highly Compact and Versatile Remote Catheter Navigation System

Laboratory of Bioengineering, Department of Experimental Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Laura Cercenelli; ti.obinu@illenecrec.arual

Received 15 December 2016; Revised 29 March 2017; Accepted 11 April 2017; Published 25 May 2017

Academic Editor: Christian Cipriani

Copyright © 2017 Laura Cercenelli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Several remote catheter navigation systems have been developed and are now commercially available. However, these systems typically require specialized catheters or equipment, as well as time-consuming operations for the system set-up. In this paper, we present CathROB, a highly compact and versatile robotic system for remote navigation of standard tip-steerable electrophysiology (EP) catheters. Key features of CathROB include an extremely compact design that minimizes encumbrance and time for system set-up in a standard cath lab, a force-sensing mechanism, an intuitive command interface, and functions for automatic catheter navigation and repositioning. We report in vitro and in vivo animal evaluation of CathROB. In vitro results showed good accuracy in remote catheter navigation and automatic repositioning (1.5 ± 0.6 mm for the left-side targets, 1.7 ± 0.4 mm for the right-side targets). Adequate tissue contact was achieved with remote navigation in vivo. There were no adverse events, including absence of cardiac perforation or cardiac damage, indicative of the safety profile of CathROB. Although further preclinical and clinical studies are required, the presented CathROB system seems to be a promising solution for an affordable and easy-to-use remote catheter navigation.