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A review of magnetic actuation systems and magnetically actuated guidewire- and catheter-based microrobots for vascular interventions

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Magnetic actuation techniques and microrobots have attracted considerable interest due to their potential applications in biomedicine. Interventional techniques have emerged as a minimally invasive approach to treat a wide range of vascular diseases. The current practice of interventional procedures is, however, limited by manual control of interventional devices and time-consuming procedures. Moreover, fluoroscopy is considered as an essential part of the procedure today despite posing many limitations for patients and physicians. Recently, various microrobotic solutions have been proposed for vascular interventions, including advances in magnetic navigation systems and magnetically steerable catheters and guidewires, which have shown potential benefits such as reduced radiation doses, improved access to difficult-to-reach and tortuous anatomy. This paper reviews the commercial magnetic actuation systems and magnetically actuated interventional microrobots that have been developed by academic research groups and medical companies worldwide, outlining their capability, applicability as well as limitations. We further address the challenges and future prospects of the research toward clinical acceptance of magnetic interventional technologies.

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This work was supported in part by funding from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (Grant No. HI19C0655020019), the Ministry of Science and ICT (Grant No. NRF-2017K1A1A2013237), Republic of Korea, and DGIST (Grant No. 20-CoE-BT-02).

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Correspondence to Hongsoo Choi.

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Hwang, J., Kim, J. & Choi, H. A review of magnetic actuation systems and magnetically actuated guidewire- and catheter-based microrobots for vascular interventions. Intel Serv Robotics 13, 1–14 (2020).

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  • Magnetic actuation
  • Microrobots
  • Catheters
  • Guidewires
  • Interventions