Scientists have developed magnetron guidewire robots for vascular interventional surgery

Recently, the team of the Intelligent Bionics Center of the Institute of Integration of the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences and the neurosurgery team of South China Hospital affiliated to Shenzhen University have made new progress in the field of magnetically driven continuum microrobots. The team proposed a magnetically accessible guidewire robotic system with magnetically driven active steering and autonomous propulsion capabilities. Through the intervention of this system, doctors can remotely control the magnetic guidewire to quickly select the correct path at the complex bifurcation of blood vessels and reach the target site, effectively reducing the doctor’s radiation exposure. The team proposed a modeling method and trajectory planning method for magnetic guide wire, which laid the foundation for the automatic control of magnetic guide wire.

Vascular interventional surgery is an operation technology that uses guidewires, catheters and other instruments to diagnose and treat through the vascular route under the guidance of medical imaging equipment. Neurointerventional surgery is an important means of treating various cerebrovascular diseases, and requires high experience of doctors. Doctors need to observe the position of the guidewire under the contrast and the accumulated radiation is detrimental to health. In this regard, this work proposes a magnetic interventional guidewire robot system with magnetically driven active steering and autonomous propulsion capabilities, which can assist doctors to remotely control or replace automatic control of doctors, which can effectively reduce doctors’ radiation exposure and support remote areas. In this study, a section of magnetic hydrogel material is connected to the tip of the guidewire, so that the medical interventional guidewire has a magnetic response, can be flexibly turned under the drive of an external magnetic field, and feedback the position through the imaging system. Combining the dipole model and the Cosserat-rod model, the team established a continuum mechanical model to predict the deformation of the guidewire tip, and developed a trajectory planning algorithm, that is, inferring the position trajectory of the external drive magnet and the speed of the thruster according to the path of the blood vessel to achieve autonomous control. 

Through magnetic field characterization and steering characterization experiments, the team confirmed that the proposed model can predict and reconstruct the nonlinear deformation of the guidewire tip. This study realizes the autonomous control of interventional guidewires. Experiments show that according to the known vascular pathway, the magnetic field control guidewire reaches the four target positions of the middle cerebral artery from the puncture point through four different paths in the vascular model, and the arrival time is less than 2 minutes. The team realized remote control of the interventional guidewire. The interventional physician remotely controls the magnetic guidewire outside the operation room under the real-time guidance of DSA images to reach the target position through the right internal carotid artery of the vascular model, which takes about 2 minutes. In the future, the scientific research team will continue to study the intelligent control of the magnetron guidewire robot system to help doctors complete interventional procedures more efficiently and safely. 

The research results were published in Advanced Intelligent Systems under the title A Magnetically Controlled Guidewire Robot System with Steering and Propulsion Capabilities for Vascular Interventional Surgery. The research work has been supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Guangdong-Shenzhen Joint Fund Key Project, the Youth Innovation Promotion Association of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Shenzhen Municipality. (Source: Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences)

Related paper information:

Figure 1. Magnetron guidewire robot system integration 

Figure 2. Modeling of magnetic guidewires 

Figure 3. The magnetic drive intervenes in the autonomous movement of the guidewire in vitro 

Figure 4. The magnetic drive intervenes in the remote control of the guidewire under DSA image guidance

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