When this magnetic field is paired with the magnetic field created inside the MRI to produce images, the catheter has the ability to move. In order to control the movement, Cavusoglu's lab is now developing software to use the fields like a pair of deftly controlled bar magnets.
A doctor using a joystick or touch screen will guide the catheter inside the patient. In the heart, to turn the catheter to the left or right, a current will be applied to coils in either direction.
The magnetic fields can produce the same effect as aiming two like poles of magnets at each other: they repel. Or aiming two unlike poles at each other: they attract. But, because the MRI field is much stronger, it's the catheter that moves. And, because the fields encircle the catheter, it can move up and down, not just side to side.
Nicole Seiberlich, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering, has already developed the technology to see images inside the body 10 times faster than what's commercially available, without sacrificing the clarity for which MRI's are renown.
She and colleagues will continue to increase the speed, enabling a doctor to clearly see the landscape inside the heart in three dimensions in real time.
Mark Griswold, professor of radiology at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, had begun investigating the idea of a robotic catheter inside an MRI several years ago, but his lab dropped the effort when the device could not be properly controlled.
Jeff Duerk, dean of the Case School of Engineering and a professor of biomedical engineering who specializes in imaging, introduced Cavusoglu to Griswold, Seiberlich and others in their labs. When the others learned Cavusoglu had control algorithms and was looking for a place to use them, they restarted the effort.
To maintain a steady aim and contact with target tissues inside the beating heart, Cavusoglu's lab has alre
|Contact: Kevin Mayhood|
Case Western Reserve University