A Computer Assisted Method for Guide-Wore and Catheter Evaluation
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We developed a method for testing guide wires and catheters that realistically evaluates the forces applied to anatomical structures by these instruments during urological procedures. The placement of guide wires and catheters to gain access to the upper urinary tract can induce undesirable stress on the tissue. Previous studies have characterized wire/catheter performances base on their physical properties, such as stiffness and friction coefficient. However, the results of these studies do not directly quantify their effect on the tissues. Additionally, individual physical properties do not entirely characterize the behavior of the wire/catheter ensemble. Our model utilizes a computer-controlled test stand that simulates the urological environment by including a tortuous path and a stone obstruction. Experimental results indicate that the method shows significant promise in reflecting wire/catheter performance data in congruence with reliable real-life measures of stress upon relevant anatomical structures. Furthermore, due to the modularity of the approach, the model can be easily reconfigured to simulate environments from other medical fields.