Research Projects

Dendritic Instruments

This research project focusses on

Endoscope Shaft Guidance

This research project focusses on

iMIT Program

The following three projects are part of the iMIT program. The objective of the iMIT (interactive Multi-Interventional Tool) program is to provide the technology that allows physicians to reach, diagnose and treat any organ with one single instrument. iMIT aims to broaden the applicability of the minimally invasive approach by fusing diagnostic methods with the means to immediately treat the diseased tissue. A new generation of iMIT instruments will be designed that is able to instantly adjust its functioning to the changing environments and requirements during an intervention.


In this project, we will develop a support catheter for use in Percutaneous Interventions of Chronic Total Occlusions (CTOs) in the heart with triple functionality: (1) imaging with an ultrasound transducer that does not only look sideways, but also in front, so that the CTO lesion can be visualized and information from the signal can be used to uncover the better accessible areas for crossing the CTO and avoid a dissection of the arterial wall or the creation of a false lumen (executed by the Erasmus University); (2) accurate steering of the device based on the optimal use of the information already given by the location of the device, and the situation in front and around the device (executed by our group, by Aimee Sakes); (3) 3D visualization of the catheter without the use of X-ray by integrating a specially designed optical fiber into the support catheter (executed by Philips).


The aim of the MULTI project is to develop novel multi-steerable catheter technology to enable accurate positioning inside a beating heart under electromechanically-assisted manual control by a clinician. Research will be performed on novel and intuitive multi-steerable catheter designs based on the available dendritic cable-ring technology and human factors experience at the BITE group of Delft University of Technology (by Awaz Ali). Furthermore, at the University of Twente research will be performed on semi-automatic methods to precisely control these catheters based on mechanics-based models, and real-time shared control techniques, with the aim of maintaining, fine-tuning and adjusting the clinician’s input to facilitate fine positioning inside the beating heart, e.g., by introducing virtual fixtures to avoid vulnerable structures.


Based on the advancing and steering mechanism of the wasp ovipositor, needles as thin as 0.5 mm will be developed within this project. Their use will be evaluated in the context of the following functional demands: (1) the needle should be able to follow a desired 3D path without Euler buckling, (2) the semi-cylinders should be coupled along their length, but free to slide along one another with minimal friction, (3) the needle should be able to cope with an inhomogeneous solid organ, with anisotropic and nonlinear elastic properties. A theoretical model will be developed at Wageningen University, integrating the mechanical and control parts of the needle as derived from the functional demands. Next, a series of prototypes of the needle system will be developed by our group at Delft University of Technology (by Marta Scali).