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Research Papers

Design of Underactuated Steerable Electrode Arrays for Optimal Insertions

[+] Author and Article Information
Jian Zhang

e-mail: jz2181@columbia.edu

Nabil Simaan

e-mail: nabil.simaan@vanderbilt.edu
Advanced Robotics and Mechanisms
Applications Lab (ARMA Lab),
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Vanderbilt University,
Nashville, TN 37235

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Mechanisms and Robotics Committee of ASME for publication in the Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics. Manuscript received March 7, 2011; final manuscript received April 25, 2012; published online January 24, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Anupam Saxena.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 5(1), 011008 (Jan 24, 2013) (11 pages) Paper No: JMR-11-1029; doi: 10.1115/1.4007005 History: Received March 07, 2011; Revised April 25, 2012

This paper addresses the design of wire actuated steerable electrode arrays for optimal insertions in cochlear implant surgery. These underactuated electrode arrays are treated as continuum robots which have an embedded actuation strand inside their flexible medium. By pulling on the actuation strand, an electrode array assumes a minimum-energy shape. The problems of designing optimal actuation strand placement are addressed in this paper. Based on the elastic modeling of the steerable electrode arrays proposed in this paper, an analytical solution of the strand placement is solved to minimize the shape discrepancy between a bent electrode array and a given target curve defined by the anatomy. Using the solved strand placement inside the steerable electrode array, an optimized insertion path planning with robotic assistance is proposed to execute the insertion process. Later, an optimization algorithm is presented to minimize the shape discrepancy between an inserted electrode array and a given target curve during the whole insertion process. Simulations show a steerable electrode array bending using the elastic model and robot insertion path planning with optimized strand placement. Two experiments have been conducted to validate the elastic model and algorithms.

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References

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See supplementary material at E-JMROA6. The video shows a comparison of the insertion process of a straight electrode and a steerable electrode with optimized strand placement and steerable insertion path planning. The video is available at: http://research.vuse.vanderbilt.edu/arma/Media/JMR_cochlea1.wmv.

Figures

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Fig. 1

Insertion of electrode arrays into the scala tympani

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Fig. 2

(a) Top and side view of the steerable electrode array with embedded strand, (b) bent shapes of the steerable electrode array

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Fig. 3

Geometric modeling of the steerable electrode array in initial straight configuration with segment i highlighted

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Fig. 4

Static modeling of the steerable electrode array at layer i

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Fig. 5

(a) Target curve, (b) segmented target curve, and (c) local coordinate systems of the bent steerable electrode array

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Fig. 6

Overlay of z images (a) taken from calibration process and (b) simulated virtual calibration images using elastic model

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Fig. 7

Schematics of 4 DoF robot with optimization parameters

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Fig. 8

A strand placement using kth order polynomial expression

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Fig. 9

Flow chart of optimization algorithm

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Fig. 10

Detailed flow chart of virtual calibration module

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Fig. 11

Detailed flow chart of insertion simulation module

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Fig. 12

(a) An arbitrary given strand placement and (b) bent shapes of the steerable electrode array with the strand placement in (a)

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Fig. 13

(a) Solved strand placement from analytical solution and (b) smoothed strand placement based on (a)

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Fig. 14

Modified target curve with simulated bent electrode shapes (a) using unsmoothed strand placement in Fig. 13(a) and (b) using smoothed strand placement in Fig. 13(b)

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Fig. 15

Simulation using unsmoothed analytical solution of strand placement

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Fig. 16

Optimization algorithm results (a) linear strand placement and (b) nonlinear strand placement

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Fig. 17

Comparison of four insertion simulation results, AS, analytical solution; OA, optimization algorithm; SP, strand placement

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Fig. 18

Selection of initial conditions for global search

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Fig. 19

Overlay of simulation results onto bent electrode arrays

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Fig. 20

Simulated bent electrode shapes with error bounds (a) ±5% modeled internal friction, (b) ±5% measured Young's modulus. (c) Simulated bent electrode shapes with ±1 (±21%) pixel segmentation error bounds.

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Fig. 21

Segmentation of fabricated electrode array with designed strand placement (a) raw image, (b) BW image, and (c) segmented image

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Fig. 22

(a) Experimental setup, (b) 6-DoF F/T sensor, (c) parallel robot with strand actuation motor and F/T sensor coordinate systems, and (d) scaled-up target curve model

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Fig. 23

Comparison of insertion images using (a) 1 DoF nonsteerable (straight) electrode and (b) 4 DoF steerable electrode

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Fig. 24

Comparison of insertion forces using (a) 1 DoF nonsteerable (straight) electrode and (b) 4 DoF steerable electrode

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