Relationship between mechanical deformation and contact force applied by a catheter tip on cardiac muscle: Experimentation and computer modeling

Ijima, Yukako
Masnok, Kriengsak
Perez, Juan J.
González-Suárez, Ana
Berjano, Enrique
Watanabe, Nobuo
Ijima, Y., Masnok, K., Perez, J. J., González-Suárez, A., Berjano, E., & Watanabe, N. (2023, 2-4 June 2023). Relationship Between Mechanical Deformation and Contact Force Applied by Catheter Tip on Cardiac Muscle: Experimentation and Computer Modeling. Paper presented at the 2023 IEEE 5th Eurasia Conference on Biomedical Engineering, Healthcare and Sustainability (ECBIOS).
The cardiac muscle is elastic and deformable. Pushing a catheter in contact with the cardiac muscle surface to conduct focal energy-based ablative therapies, such as RF ablation, requires an adequate electrode-tissue contact surface to transfer the energy to the target site. In this regard, the relationship between the contact force (CF) and the resulting mechanical response is still unclear, in particular, the insertion depth (ID) and the diameter of the surface deformation. The objective of this study was to quantify these relationships using an ex vivo model and a computational model. A rigid bar with a 2.3 mm diameter blunt tip (mimicking a 7Fr standard ablation catheter) was placed at a perpendicular orientation on a fragment of the porcine heart. CF values ranged from 10 to 80g. We used ANSYS to build a Mooney-Rivlig model of 3 parameters based on hyperelastic material and to simulate the same conditions as in the experiments. The experimental results showed a strong linear correlation between CF and insertion depth ID ( $\mathrm{R}^{2}=0.97, \mathrm{P} < 0.001$ ), from $0.7 \pm 0.3$ mm at 10 gto $6.9 \pm 0.1$ mm at 80 g. We also found a strong linear correlation between CF and minor and major diameters of the surface deformation assessed, from $4.0 \pm 0.4$ mm at 20 g to $10.3 \pm 0.0$ mm at 80 g ( $\mathrm{R}^{2}=0.96$ ), and from $6.4 \pm 0.7$ mm at 20 g to $16.7 \pm 0.1$ mm at 80 g ( $\mathrm{R}^{2}=0.95$ ), respectively. A descent gradient algorithm was used to minimize the mean square error (MSE) between the experimental and computational results of ID for the 10 values of CF. After trying different combinations for the3 parameters of the Mooney-Rivlig model, an optimal fit was achieved after 5 iterations, with an error of less than 0.55 mm for ID. This same mode was then used to predict the diameter of the surface deformation, obtaining an error of less than 0.65 mm. The results confirm that a Mooney-Rivlig model of three parameters based on hyperelastic material predicts the mechanical behavior of cardiac muscle reasonably well when subjected to CFs between 10 and 80 g. This information has important implications in cardiac ablative therapies based on focal energy application using a catheter tip.
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