Researchers have developed a new class of medical instruments equipped with an advanced electronic software system that could significantly improve the diagnosis and treatment of a number of heart diseases and conditions.
In a new paper published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering, researchers led by engineers at George Washington University and Northwestern University applied extensible and flexible arrays of sensors and electrode actuators, and Together with temperature and pressure sensors, they are often used in minimally invasive operations to treat conditions such as cardiac arrhythmias.
The new system, which conforms better to the soft tissues of the body than current devices, can perform a variety of functions, including: simultaneous in vivo measurements of temperature, contact force and electrophysiological parameters , the ability to customize diagnostic and therapeutic functions and real-time feedback.
The new system can dramatically reduce the duration of invasive ablation procedures and the exposure of patients and physicians to X-ray radiation.
Many minimally invasive surgeries rely on catheters inserted into the body through small incisions to perform diagnostic measurements and therapeutic interventions. Doctors, for example, use this catheter-based approach to map and treat irregular heartbeats or arrhythmias, often by locating and removing the area of cardiac tissue that causes the arrhythmias.
Although widely used in surgery, the current catheter-based approach has a number of disadvantages. The rigidity of today's catheter devices means that they do not conform well to soft, biological tissues, affecting the high-fidelity mapping of an organ's electrophysiological signals.
Current devices come into contact with only a small part of an organ at a time, making it necessary to constantly move a probe, prolonging medical procedures. Current catheter systems are also limited in the number of functions they can perform, requiring physicians to use multiple catheters in a single ablation procedure. > ie.
In addition, lengthy procedures – for example, for the location of tissues that cause arrhythmias – may expose both the patient and the doctor to potentially harmful X-rays because doctors rely on X-ray images. During the operation to guide your catheters.
Thus, the new class of instruments that the researchers have developed will allow doctors to acquire a rich set of electrophysiological information and complete operations in shorter periods with a single instrumented catheter system.