Design and Control of a Mechatronic Tracheostomy Tube for Automated Tracheal Suctioning
Do, Thanh Nho
Seah, Tian En Timothy
Phee, Soo Jay
Date of Issue2016
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Robotics Research Centre
Goal: Mechanical ventilation is required to aid patients with breathing difficulty to breathe more comfortably. A tracheostomy tube inserted through an opening in the patient neck into the trachea is connected to a ventilator for suctioning. Currently, nurses spend millions of person-hours yearly to perform this task. To save significant person-hours, an automated mechatronic tracheostomy system is needed. This system allows for relieving nurses and other carers from the millions of person-hours spent yearly on tracheal suctioning. In addition, it will result in huge healthcare cost savings. Methods: We introduce a novel mechatronic tracheostomy system including the development of a long suction catheter, automatic suctioning mechanisms, and relevant control approaches to perform tracheal suctioning automatically. To stop the catheter at a desired position, two approaches are introduced: 1) Based on the known travel length of the catheter tip; 2) Based on a new sensing device integrated at the catheter tip. It is known that backlash nonlinearity between the suction catheter and its conduit as well as in the gear system of the actuator are unavoidable. They cause difficulties to control the exact position of the catheter tip. For the former case, we develop an approximate model of backlash and a direct inverse scheme to enhance the system performances. The scheme does not require any complex inversions of the backlash model and allows easy implementations. For the latter case, a new sensing device integrated into the suction catheter tip is developed and backlash compensation controls are avoided. Results: Automated suctioning validations are successfully carried out on the proposed experimental system. Comparisons and discussions are also introduced. Significance: The results demonstrate a significant contribution and potential benefits to the mechanical ventilation areas.
IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
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