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Research Papers

Design of a Novel Flexible Endoscope—Cardioscope

[+] Author and Article Information
Zheng Li

Mem. ASME
Institute of Digestive Disease;
Chow Yu Ho Technology Centre
for Innovative Medicine,
The Chinese University of Hong Kong,
Room 110, William M. W. Mong
Engineering Building,
CUHK, Hong Kong
e-mail: lizheng@cuhk.edu.hk

Min Zin Oo

Department of Cardiac,
Thoracic and Vascular Surgery,
National University of Singapore,
119228, Singapore
e-mail: surv296@nus.edu.sg

Varun Nalam

Department of Biomedical Engineering,
National University of Singapore,
117576, Singapore
e-mail: varunnalam@gmail.com

Vu Duc Thang

Department of Cardiac,
Thoracic and Vascular Surgery,
National University of Singapore,
119228, Singapore
e-mail: survdt@nus.edu.sg

Hongliang Ren

Department of Biomedical Engineering,
National University of Singapore,
117576, Singapore
e-mail: ren@nus.edu.sg

Theodoros Kofidis

Department of Cardiac,
Thoracic and Vascular Surgery,
National University of Singapore,
119228, Singapore
e-mail: kofidis_theodoros@nuhs.edu.sg

Haoyong Yu

Department of Biomedical Engineering,
National University of Singapore,
Block EA, #03-12, 9 Engineering Drive 1,
117575, Singapore
e-mail: bieyhy@nus.edu.sg

Manuscript received September 13, 2015; final manuscript received December 9, 2015; published online May 4, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Venkat Krovi.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 8(5), 051014 (May 04, 2016) (9 pages) Paper No: JMR-15-1257; doi: 10.1115/1.4032272 History: Received September 13, 2015; Revised December 09, 2015

In this paper, we present a novel flexible endoscope (FE) which is well suited to minimally invasive cardiac surgery (MICS). It is named the cardioscope. The cardioscope is composed of a handle, a rigid shaft, a steerable flexible section, and the imaging system. The flexible section is composed of an elastic tube, a number of spacing disks, a constraint tube, and four wires. It employs the constrained wire-driven flexible mechanism (CWFM) with a continuum backbone, which enables the control of both the angulation and the length of the flexible section. Compared to other endoscopes, e.g., rigid endoscope (RE) and fixed-length FE, the cardioscope is much more dexterous. The cardioscope can bend over 180 deg in all directions, and the bending is decoupled from the distal tip position. Ex vivo tests show that the cardioscope is well suited to MICS. It provides much wider scope of vision than REs and provides good manipulation inside confined environments. In tests, the cardioscope successfully explored the full heart through a single hole, which shows that the design is promising. Despite being designed for MICS, the cardioscope can also be applied to other minimally invasive surgeries (MISs), such as laparoscopy, neurosurgery, transnasal surgery, and transoral surgery.

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Copyright © 2016 by ASME
Topics: Design , Endoscopes , Wire
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Figures

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Fig. 1

Design of the steerable section: (a) constraint fully covers the flexible section, (b) half of the flexible section is exposed, and (c) the flexible section is fully exposed

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Fig. 2

Design of the bending section: (a) overview, (b) enlarged front view, and (c) enlarged cross-sectional view

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Fig. 3

Design of the actuation module: (a) front view and (b) isometric view

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Fig. 4

Overall view of the cardioscope: (a) broken view and (b) top view

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Fig. 5

Prototyping of the cardioscope

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Fig. 6

Bending analysis: (a) resting configuration, (b) bending configuration, and (c) bending direction illustration

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Fig. 7

Measuring system for determining the scope of vision

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Fig. 8

The ex vivo experiment setup

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Fig. 9

Results of test 1: (a) best view of the 0 deg RE, (b) best view of the 30 deg RE, (c) best view of the cardioscope at straight configuration, (d) first view of the cardioscope with long bending section, (e) second view of the cardioscope with long bending section, and (f) view of the cardioscope with short bending section

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Fig. 10

Visualization of instruments in different simulated scenarios of an operation

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Fig. 11

Results of test 3: the heart is posed in the surgical position and the cardioscope is controlled to explore the entire heart

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