Robotic Electrospinning Actuated by Non-Circular Joint Continuum Manipulator for Endoluminal Therapy

Zicong Wu, Chuqian Lou, Zhu Jin, Shaoping Huang, Ning Liu, Yun Zou, Mirko Kovac, Anzhu Gao, Guang-Zhong Yang

Electrospinning has exhibited excellent benefits to treat the trauma for tissue engineering due to its produced micro/nano fibrous structure. It can effectively adhere to the tissue surface for long-term continuous therapy. This paper develops a robotic electrospinning platform for endoluminal therapy. The platform consists of a continuum manipulator, the electrospinning device, and the actuation unit. The continuum manipulator has two bending sections to facilitate the steering of the tip needle for a controllable spinning direction. Non-circular joint profile is carefully designed to enable a constant length of the centreline of a continuum manipulator for stable fluid transmission inside it. Experiments are performed on a bronchus phantom, and the steering ability and bending limitation in each direction are also investigated. The endoluminal electrospinning is also fulfilled by a trajectory following and points targeting experiments. The effective adhesive area of the produced fibre is also illustrated. The proposed robotic electrospinning shows its feasibility to precisely spread more therapeutic drug to construct fibrous structure for potential endoluminal treatment.

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