Given the advantages of cystoscopic exams compared with other procedures available for bladder surveillance, it would be beneficial to develop an improved automated cystoscope. We develop and propose an active programmable remote steering mechanism and an efficient motion sequence for bladder cancer detection and postoperative surveillance. The continuous and optimal path of the imaging probe can enable a medical practitioner to readily ensure that images are produced for the entire surface of the bladder in a controlled and uniform manner. Shape memory alloy (SMA) based segmented actuators disposed adjacent to the distal end of the imaging probe are selectively activated to bend the shaft to assist in positioning and orienting the imaging probe at a plurality of points selected to image all the interior of the distended bladder volume. The bending arc, insertion depth, and rotational position of the imaging probe are automatically controlled based on patient-specific data. The initial prototype is tested on a 3D plastic phantom bladder, which is used as a proof-of-concept in vitro model and an electromagnetic motion tracker. The 3D tracked tip trajectory results ensure that the motion sequencing program and the steering mechanism efficiently move the image probe to scan the entire inner tissue layer of the bladder. The compared experimental results shows 5.1% tip positioning error to the designed trajectory given by the simulation tool. The authors believe that further development of this concept will help guarantee that a tumor or other characteristic of the bladder surface is not overlooked during the automated cystoscopic procedure due to a failure to image it.
Development of an Automated Steering Mechanism for Bladder Urothelium Surveillance
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Yoon, W. J., Park, S., Reinhall, P. G., and Seibel, E. J. (January 13, 2009). "Development of an Automated Steering Mechanism for Bladder Urothelium Surveillance." ASME. J. Med. Devices. March 2009; 3(1): 011004. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.3054381
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