“Catheterization” is becoming one of the important medical operations since it engages minimally invasive medical procedures. It is a common practice that a catheter is inserted into body-cavities to administrate diversified medical functions such as diagnosis and surgery. Current method to deal with catheters is based upon the manual mechanisms that are time consuming and, sometimes, involving high risk to the patient. In this work, we explore the use of a promising electroactive polymer (EAP), called ionic polymer-metal composite (IPMC) as a material for use in active catheter-platforms. The configuration of our interest is a rod-shaped IPMC with 2-DOF electromechanical actuation capability. The desired functionality was achieved by fabricating inter-digitated electrodes. Firstly, the 3-D Finite Element (FE) model was introduced as a design tool to optimize the important parameters including electrode configurations. The FE model is based upon the physical transport processes — field induced migration and diffusion of ions. Secondly, based upon the FE modeling we fabricated an initial prototype exhibiting desired electromechanical output. The prototype of rod-shaped IPMC has a diameter of 1 mm and a 20 mm length. We have successfully demonstrated that the 2-DOF bending of the fabricated IPMC is feasible.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.