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Magnetically-steered Serpentine Laparoscopic Instrument

Steer internal probes with external magnetic fields
  (+4, -1)
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Numerous medical devices used in laparoscopy and endoscopy rely on wall forces to direct the probe tip around curved interior surfaces.

Although such devices are less invasive than open surgery, they can potentially injure delicate wall surfaces.

The present idea is to guide a serpentine probe around interior curves using externally-positioned magnetic fields (probably electromagnets with adjustable current.)

The probe tube itself would be composed of a series of annular rings (or a coil like a Slinky(tm)) of suitable magnetic material, which would group together in the presence of a magnetic field, causing bend to occur in the tube, radius dependent on the applied field. Near the magnet, the rings would group together; at the far side, the rings would be spaced further apart, resulting in a curvature controllable by the applied field.

For instance, to navigate an artery, curves would be introduced by externally applied magnets to prevent the probe tube from applying force to the walls of the artery.

Appropriate imaging could interact with the fields applied.

csea, Sep 17 2012

Remote magnetic navigation http://en.wikipedia...magnetic_navigation
[xaviergisz, Sep 17 2012]

Gastro_20Slalom_20Race keep away from magnets! [xenzag, Sep 18 2012]

[link]






       How is the field focussed to sustain the complex path as the device is inserted? It's not just a matter of guiding the tip.   

       Also, there may be significant localised heating.   

       The idea implies the creation of a 4-D "path" through which the probe can self-navigate. We consider that this is beyond the capabilities of your primitive technology.
8th of 7, Sep 17 2012
  

       (+)
If this existed I might still have a controlable gag reflex.
  

       //How is the field focused (sp) to sustain the complex path as the device is inserted? //   

       Multiple external DC magnets control each point of inflection.   

       //Also, there may be significant localised heating.//   

       Not with DC magnets.   

       The idea implies the creation of a 4-D "path" through which the probe can self-navigate. We consider that this is beyond the capabilities of your primitive technology.   

       Aw, c'mon! The entire Halfbakery is beyond our ... technology! That's the entire point!
csea, Sep 18 2012
  

       I'm gonna have to fishbone this for fear of what they might do with it at Guantanamo.
ShawnBob, Sep 18 2012
  

       Expand the intestine by blowing air to cause a slight inflation of the wall of the bowel immediately in front of probe.
Lesser Spotted Kiwi, Sep 18 2012
  

       Oh yeah. Let me leave the room before the probe is withdrawn.
Lesser Spotted Kiwi, Sep 18 2012
  
      
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