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Intelligent Catheter Navigation System developed by German researchers

04th July 2019

The researches from Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Medicine MEVIS, Germany has developed a catheter system namely Intelligent Catheter Navigation (IntelliCath). This will help in precise navigation through the vasculature.

In Endovascular intervention process, a thin, flexible wire is inserted into the blood vessel for navigating a catheter to apply stents or remove blood clots.

For ensuring accurate navigation of a catheter, the patient must undergo X-rays during the procedure, this exposes the patient and doctors to radiation. In addition, the X-rays only show 2D projection instead of a 3D image and this can sometimes block precise localization of the catheter.

To overcome these challenges, the new catheter comes with an optical fibre with small mirrors. When the fibre bends, the mirrors reflect a portion of the light that changes color. This change can be measured by sensors to obtain info on the intensity and direction of vessel curvature.

Using the patient’s CT or MR imaging data, a 3D model of the vessel system is designed. This is then used to feed the real-time data from the navigation fibre into the model. This helps doctors to view live navigation of the catheter.

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