Several studies have been reported on the development of controllable catheters in the biomedical field. Electronic conductive polymers (ECP) actuators appeared to be among the most suitable systems thank to their biocompatibility, low operating potential (± 2V) with a reasonable deformation (2%)[1–3]. Electroactive catheters, especially in neurosurgery, should have two levels of properties: strong deformations tip in order to reach, for example the aneurysms and sweep the total volume of the pouch, and sufficient rigid middle part for getting forward in the tortuous vessels network. We designed an electroactive catheter, constituted of two parts with different deformation ability and modulus. The high deformations tip can be obtained with a weak modulus actuator. On the other hand, the second part needs to possess high modulus where small deformations are sufficient. In this work, interpenetrating polymer networks (IPN) will be used as the structural material of the catheter. The IPN architecture allows the synthesis of actuators containing the ions necessary for the redox process and thus avoiding any interference of the position control due to the exchange with the ions from the physiological medium. In addition, the fact that the catheter can be synthesized in a customized way allows modulating its mechanical properties. By introducing a rigid polystyrene network into a specific part of the actuator, it is possible to locally increase the rigidity of the device while keeping reasonable deformation. First, we will describe the synthesis and the characterization of a beam shape actuators with different local stiffnesses. Then, the first steps for the elaboration of tubular actuator will be presented.
Vincent Woehling, Giao T. M. Nguyen, Cédric Plesse, Meisam Farajollahi, John D. W. Madden, and Frédéric Vidal, "Toward electroactive catheter design using conducting interpenetrating polymer networks actuators," Proc. SPIE 10594, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) XX, 1059415 (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 08, 2018; Published: 27 March 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2300764.
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