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4 April 2012 A multi-electrode biomimetic electrolocation sensor
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We present the concept of an active multi-electrode catheter inspired by the electroreceptive system of the weakly electric fish, Gnathonemus petersii. The skin of this fish exhibits numerous electroreceptor organs which are capable of sensing a self induced electrical field. Our sensor is composed of a sending electrode and sixteen receiving electrodes. The electrical field produced by the sending electrode was measured by the receiving electrodes and objects were detected by the perturbation of the electrical field they induce. The intended application of such a sensor is in coronary diagnostics, in particular in distinguishing various types of plaques, which are major causes of heart attack. For calibration of the sensor system, finite element modeling (FEM) was performed. To validate the model, experimental measurements were carried out with two different systems. The physical system was glass tubing with metal and plastic wall insertions as targets. For the control of the experiment and for data acquisition, the software LabView designed for 17 electrodes was used. Different parameters of the electric images were analyzed for the prediction of the electrical properties and size of the inserted targets in the tube. Comparisons of the voltage modulations predicted from the FEM model and the experiments showed a good correspondence. It can be concluded that this novel biomimetic method can be further developed for detailed investigations of atherosclerotic lesions. Finally, we discuss various design strategies to optimize the output of the sensor using different simulated models to enhance target recognition.
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K. Mayekar, D. Damalla, M. Gottwald, H. Bousack, and G. von der Emde "A multi-electrode biomimetic electrolocation sensor", Proc. SPIE 8339, Bioinspiration, Biomimetics, and Bioreplication 2012, 83390A (4 April 2012);

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