INCITE aims to develop intelligent catheter technologies and systems that will accelerate the paradigm shift from costly, burdensome surgical treatments to cost-effective and patient-friendly minimally invasive interventions. It will also enable the creation of new advanced treatments for currently complex surgical procedures. This will allow for more individuals to be treated thereby contributing further to the trend of decreasing death rates and improvement in quality of life. The INCITE project will investigate and develop catheter systems based on intrinsically compact and advanced technologies. This will not only allow new functionality but the combination of functionalities. Most importantly, an intelligent catheter platform will allow these functions to be integrated into small devices that can address a wide range of complex interventions in a cost effective and industrially feasible manner while simultaneously improving the therapeutic outcome for the patient. One key platform technology that will advance catheter systems significantly beyond state-of-the-art is that based on integrated circuits and silicon processing. With microelectronics technology, it will be possible to construct many of the key components in the system, including sensors, imagers, electronics and interconnects. Using this technology, the components can be extremely miniaturized, multiplex-capable, and have natural integration interfaces to each other. To complement the microelectronics, optical sensing and communication technology will be incorporated and the opto-electronic interfaces will be developed. To enable the full range of catheter functionality, steering and tracking will be investigated. New miniaturizable steering mechanisms, employing electrically controlled actuators based on smart materials, will be developed.
Fields of science
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