Advertisement

Design, characterization and optimization of a soft fluidic actuator for minimally invasive surgery

  • Gilles DecrolyEmail author
  • Benjamin Mertens
  • Pierre Lambert
  • Alain Delchambre
Original Article
  • 103 Downloads

Abstract

Purpose

In minimally invasive surgery and endoscopy, the rise of soft robotics, using materials of similar softness as biological soft tissues, opens many new opportunities. Soft actuated catheters could become an alternative to current steerable catheters, by minimizing the risk of damage to surrounding tissues while enhancing the possibilities to navigate in confined space and to reach remote locations. Fluidic actuators present the advantage to be safe, since they do not require rigid parts nor voltage, to be lightweight, and to allow the reduction of the number of parts needed for a given movement. This work presents the design, development and characterization of a soft fluidic bending actuator for a steerable catheter.

Methods

A silicone prototype of 5 mm diameter has been designed. It has one degree of freedom in bending and achieves a radius of curvature below 10 mm. A numerical model has been developed and compared to the experimental results.

Results

Despite an overestimation of the bending, the numerical model properly captures the behaviour of the actuator. This allowed to identify and validate the key design parameters of the actuator, namely the ratio between the pressure channel surface and the actuator cross-section surface. Based on the results, an optimized design has been developed and numerically implemented. The miniaturization and the potential to carry devices with non-negligible bending stiffness have also been discussed.

Conclusion

In this work, a proof of concept of a soft fluidic actuator for a steerable catheter has been designed, developed and characterized. It showed promising results concerning the feasibility of a miniaturized actuator with two degrees of freedom.

Keywords

Soft robotics Fluidic actuator Steerable catheter Minimally invasive surgery Finite element modelling 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was made possible by the support of Boston Scientific and the Michel Cremer Foundation. This work is also supported by the FNRS (Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique) through the funding of a FRIA Grant.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

This article does not contain patient data.

References

  1. 1.
    Polygerinos P, Correll N, Morin SA, Mosadegh B, Onal CD, Petersen K, Cianchetti M, Tolley MT, Shepherd RF (2017) Soft robotics: review of fluid-driven intrinsically soft devices; manufacturing, sensing, control, and applications in human–robot interaction. Adv Eng Mater 19(12):1700016.  https://doi.org/10.1002/adem.201700016 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gorissen B, Reynaerts D, Konishi S, Yoshida K, Kim JW, De Volder M (2017) Elastic inflatable actuators for soft robotic applications. Adv Mater 29(43):1604977.  https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.201604977 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cianchetti M, Laschi C, Menciassi A, Dario P (2018) Biomedical applications of soft robotics. Nat Rev Mater 3(6):143–153.  https://doi.org/10.1038/s41578-018-0022-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ali A, Plettenburg DH, Breedveld P (2016) Steerable catheters in cardiology: classifying steerability and assessing future challenges. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng 63(4):679–693.  https://doi.org/10.1109/TBME.2016.2525785 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Le HM, Do TN, Phee SJ (2016) A survey on actuators-driven surgical robots. Sens Actuators A Phys 247:323–354CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Burgner-Kahrs J, Rucker DC, Choset H (2015) Continuum robots for medical applications: a survey. IEEE Trans Robot 31(6):1261–1280.  https://doi.org/10.1109/TRO.2015.2489500 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Blanc L, Delchambre A, Lambert P (2017) Flexible medical devices: review of controllable stiffness solutions. Actuators.  https://doi.org/10.3390/act6030023 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hines L, Petersen K, Lum GZ, Sitti M (2017) Soft actuators for small-scale robotics. Adv Mater 29(13):1603483.  https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.201603483 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    De Greef A, Lambert P, Delchambre A (2009) Towards flexible medical instruments: review of flexible fluidic actuators. Precis Eng 33(4):311–321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Suzumori K (1989) Flexible microactuator. Trans Jpn Soc Mech Eng Ser C 55(518):2547–2552CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Wakimoto S, Suzumori K, Ogura K (2011) Miniature pneumatic curling rubber actuator generating bidirectional motion with one air-supply tube. Adv Robot 25(9–10):1311–1330.  https://doi.org/10.1163/016918611X574731 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Inoue Y, Ikuta K (2016) Hydraulic driven active catheters with optical bending sensor. In: 2016 IEEE 29th international conference on micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS), pp 383–386.  https://doi.org/10.1109/MEMSYS.2016.7421641
  13. 13.
    Gerboni G, Ranzani T, Diodato A, Ciuti G, Cianchetti M, Menciassi A (2015) Modular soft mechatronic manipulator for minimally invasive surgery (mis): overall architecture and development of a fully integrated soft module. Meccanica 50(11):2865–2878.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11012-015-0267-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Elsayed Y, Vincensi A, Lekakou C, Geng T, Saaj CM, Ranzani T, Cianchetti M, Menciassi A (2014) Finite element analysis and design optimization of a pneumatically actuating silicone module for robotic surgery applications. Soft Robot 1(4):255–262.  https://doi.org/10.1089/soro.2014.0016 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Gorissen B, De Volder M, Reynaerts D (2018) Chip-on-tip endoscope incorporating a soft robotic pneumatic bending microactuator. Biomed Microdevices 20(3):73.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10544-018-0317-1 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Fraś J, Czarnowski J, Maciaś M, Główka J, Cianchetti M, Menciassi A (2015) New stiff-flop module construction idea for improved actuation and sensing. In: 2015 IEEE international conference on robotics and automation (ICRA), pp 2901–2906.  https://doi.org/10.1109/ICRA.2015.7139595
  17. 17.
    Abidi H, Gerboni G, Brancadoro M, Fras J, Diodato A, Cianchetti M, Wurdemann H, Althoefer K, Menciassi A (2018) Highly dexterous 2-module soft robot for intra-organ navigation in minimally invasive surgery. Int J Med Robot Comput Assist Surg 14(1):e1875.  https://doi.org/10.1002/rcs.1875 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Sun Y, Song S, Liang X, Ren H (2016) A miniature soft robotic manipulator based on novel fabrication methods. IEEE Robot Autom Lett 1(2):617–623.  https://doi.org/10.1109/LRA.2016.2521889 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Arezzo A, Mintz Y, Allaix ME, Arolfo S, Bonino M, Gerboni G, Brancadoro M, Cianchetti M, Menciassi A, Wurdemann H, Noh Y, Althoefer K, Fras J, Glowka J, Nawrat Z, Cassidy G, Walker R, Morino M (2017) Total mesorectal excision using a soft and flexible robotic arm: a feasibility study in cadaver models. Surg Endosc 31(1):264–273.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-016-4967-x CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Wang Z, Polygerinos P, Overvelde JTB, Galloway KC, Bertoldi K, Walsh CJ (2017) Interaction forces of soft fiber reinforced bending actuators. IEEE/ASME Trans Mechatron 22(2):717–727.  https://doi.org/10.1109/TMECH.2016.2638468 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Polygerinos P, Wang Z, Overvelde JTB, Galloway KC, Wood RJ, Bertoldi K, Walsh CJ (2015) Modeling of soft fiber-reinforced bending actuators. IEEE Trans Robot 31(3):778–789.  https://doi.org/10.1109/TRO.2015.2428504 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Yeoh OH (1993) Some forms of the strain energy function for rubber. Rubber Chem Technol 66(5):754–771.  https://doi.org/10.5254/1.3538343 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Kulkarni P (2015) Centrifugal forming and mechanical properties of silicone-based elastomers for soft robotic actuators. Ph.D. thesis, New BrunswickGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Steck D, Qu J, Kordmahale SB, Tscharnuter D, Muliana A, Kameoka J (2019) Mechanical responses of ecoflex silicone rubber: compressible and incompressible behaviors. J Appl Polym Sci 136(5):47025.  https://doi.org/10.1002/app.47025 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Garriga-Casanovas A, Collison I, Rodriguez y Baena F (2018) Toward a common framework for the design of soft robotic manipulators with fluidic actuation. Soft Robot 5(5):622–649.  https://doi.org/10.1089/soro.2017.0105 (pMID: 30161015)CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Shiva A, Stilli A, Noh Y, Faragasso A, Falco ID, Gerboni G, Cianchetti M, Menciassi A, Althoefer K, Wurdemann HA (2016) Tendon-based stiffening for a pneumatically actuated soft manipulator. IEEE Robot Autom Lett 1(2):632–637.  https://doi.org/10.1109/LRA.2016.2523120 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© CARS 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BEAMS DepartmentUniversité libre de BruxellesBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.TIPs DepartmentUniversité libre de BruxellesBrusselsBelgium

Personalised recommendations