A new approach to haptic rendering of guidewires for use in minimally invasive surgical simulation



Guidewire insertion is an imperative task of minimally invasive medical procedures. During the procedure, surgeons need to steer long flexible thin wires through patient's blood vessels to reach a clinical target. In this paper, we present a novel approach to model haptics of guidewire insertion process for training simulation. The algorithm also allows for the analysis of the insertion process through subtle physical behaviours of guidewires via force feedbacks. The method includes a 6-DoF dynamic coupling between a rigid body, i.e. the virtual tool and the deformation of the wire simulated as an elastic rod. Instead of using the frictional contact force or the acceleration of the guidewire tip for haptic feedbacks, we compute constrained forces by directly connecting the virtual tool to the end of the guidewire. Therefore, the coupling scheme transmits haptic interactions through constrained dynamics between the virtual tool and the guidewire. Both positional and rotational control modes are implemented and evaluated with respect to the dynamics of the guidewire, user inputs and feedback forces. Experiments highlight the usability of our algorithm for an insertion procedure simulation with complex blood vessel structures. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.