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Modeling and estimation of tip contact force for steerable ablation catheters



Modeling and estimation of tip contact force for steerable ablation catheters



IEEE Transactions on Bio-Medical Engineering 62(5): 1404-1415



The efficacy of catheter-based cardiac ablation procedures can be significantly improved if real-time information is available concerning contact forces between the catheter tip and cardiac tissue. However, the widely used ablation catheters are not equipped for force sensing. This paper proposes a technique for estimating the contact forces without direct force measurements by studying the changes in the shape of the deflectable distal section of a conventional 7-Fr catheter (henceforth called the "deflectable distal shaft," the "deflectable shaft," or the "shaft" of the catheter) in different loading situations. First, the shaft curvature when the tip is moving in free space is studied and based on that, a kinematic model for the deflectable shaft in free space is proposed. In the next step, the shaft shape is analyzed in the case where the tip is in contact with the environment, and it is shown that the curvature of the deflectable shaft provides useful information about the loading status of the catheter and can be used to define an index for determining the range of contact forces exerted by the ablation tip. Experiments with two different steerable ablation catheters show that the defined index can detect the range of applied contact forces correctly in more than 80% of the cases. Based on the proposed technique, a framework for obtaining contact force information by using the shaft curvature at a limited number of points along the deflectable shaft is constructed. The proposed kinematic model and the force estimation technique can be implemented together to describe the catheter's behavior before contact, detect tip/tissue contact, and determine the range of contact forces. This study proves that the flexibility of the catheter's distal shaft provides a means of estimating the force exerted on tissue by the ablation tip.

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Accession: 058328404

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 25585409

DOI: 10.1109/TBME.2015.2389615



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