28 March 2011 Design of a MRI-compatible dielectric elastomer powered jet valve
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Binary Pneumatic Air Muscles (PAM) arranged in an elastically-averaged configuration can form a cost effective solution for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) guided robotic interventions like prostate cancer biopsies and brachytherapies. Such binary pneumatic manipulators require about 10 to 20 MRI-compatible valves to control the pressure state of each PAM. In this perspective, this paper presents the design of a novel dielectric elastomer actuator (DEA) driven jet-valve to control the states of the PAMs. DEAs are MRI compatible actuators that are well suited to the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of the binary manipulation approach. The key feature of the proposed valve design is its 2 stages configuration in which the pilot stage is moved with minimal mechanical friction by a rotary antagonistic DEA made with acrylic polymer films. The prismatic geometry also integrates the jet nozzle within the DEA volume to provide a compact embodiment with a reduced number of parts. The low actuation stretches enabled by the rotary configuration minimize viscoelastic losses, and thus, maximize the frequency response of the actuator while maximizing its reliability potential. The design space of the proposed jet valve is studied using an Ogden hyperelastic model and the valve dynamics is predicted with a 1D Bergstrom-Boyce viscoelastic model. Altogether, the low friction of the pilot stage and optimized DEA dynamics provide an experimental shifting time of the complete assembly in the 200-300ms range. Results from this work suggest that the DEA driven jet valve has great potential for switching a large number of pneumatic circuits in a MRI environment with a compact, low cost and simple embodiment.
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Sylvain Proulx, Sylvain Proulx, Patrick Chouinard, Patrick Chouinard, Jean-Philippe Lucking Bigue, Jean-Philippe Lucking Bigue, Geneviève Miron, Geneviève Miron, Jean-Sébastien Plante, Jean-Sébastien Plante, "Design of a MRI-compatible dielectric elastomer powered jet valve", Proc. SPIE 7976, Electroactive Polymer Actuators and Devices (EAPAD) 2011, 79762C (28 March 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.880670; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.880670

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