Background : Cardiac Arrhythmias
Cardiac arrhythmias are abnormal heart rhythms that can be develop throughout life. The heart rhythm can be abnormal either because it may be beating too slowly, too rapidly or becomes irregular. Arrhythmias are in the top 10 causes for hospital attendances.
Caheter Ablation Therapy
Radiofrequency catheter ablation is a technique used to treat arrhythmia, an abnormal heart rhythm created by a disturbance in the heart's electrical system. Most catheter ablations utilize radiofrequency energy to heat the tip of a special catheter. Catheter ablation destroys or disrupts parts of the electrical pathways causing the arrhythmias. RF energy produces small, homogeneous, necrotic lesions approximately 5-7 mm in diameter and 3-5 mm in depth. Although catheter ablation has revolutionized treatment for arrhythmias and has become first-line therapy for some electro physiologists, the optimum protocol for energy delivery has not yet been determined recently [Greenberg, Haines]. Atrial fibrillation is a disorder found in about 2.2 million Americans. it was estimated that 30,000 to 35,000 catheter ablations for atrial fibrillation were performed in the U. S. in 2006.
manipulation of minimally invasive devices
The manipulation of catheters, needles and other minimally invasive devices to reach tumors and other targets is the initial step of nearly all MRI-guided interventions. To date, most research on MRI targeting has focused on using MR to image the target, and to plan the trajectory of interventional devices.
We are using haptic feedback, through vibration and skin stretch, along with visual and auditory feedback, to assist in training new walking strategies. The work is aimed at healthy subjects and osteoarthritis patients, in order to reduce joint loads and to prevent or treat osteoarthritis.
We use multimodal haptic feedback to train 4DOFs gaits. The 4DOFs are foot progression angle and knee angle (implemented with vibration motors), trunk angle (implemented with skin stretch device)