(19)
(11)EP 3 593 851 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION
published in accordance with Art. 153(4) EPC

(43)Date of publication:
15.01.2020 Bulletin 2020/03

(21)Application number: 18763826.7

(22)Date of filing:  12.02.2018
(51)Int. Cl.: 
A61M 25/01  (2006.01)
A61B 17/00  (2006.01)
A61B 34/30  (2016.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/KR2018/001788
(87)International publication number:
WO 2018/164384 (13.09.2018 Gazette  2018/37)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
MA MD TN

(30)Priority: 08.03.2017 KR 20170029637

(71)Applicants:
  • The Asan Foundation
    Seoul 05505 (KR)
  • University Of Ulsan Foundation For Industry Cooperation
    Ulsan 44610 (KR)

(72)Inventors:
  • CHOI, Jae Soon
    Seoul 05507 (KR)
  • MOON, Young Jin
    Seoul 05251 (KR)
  • NAM, Gi Byoung
    Seoul 06289 (KR)
  • KIM, Young Hak
    Seoul 06289 (KR)
  • HU, Zhenkai
    Seoul 05525 (KR)
  • LEE, Ho Yul
    Paju-si Gyeonggi-do 10955 (KR)

(74)Representative: Zardi, Marco 
M. Zardi & Co. SA Via Pioda 6
6900 Lugano
6900 Lugano (CH)

  


(54)CATHETER DELIVERY DEVICE


(57) The present invention relates to a catheter delivery device having an improved mechanism for inserting a catheter into a blood vessel of a patient. According to the present invention, the catheter delivery device includes: a body including a delivery path of a catheter; a pair of feed units having grippers located on the delivery path of the body and are configured to grip and release the catheter. The pair of feed units are configured to mutually and organically move in among a grip position where the grippers grip the catheter, a forward position where the grippers advance in a state of gripping the catheter, a grip release position where the grippers release the catheter, and a backward position where the grippers retract in a state of releasing a grip on the catheter. The catheter delivery device further includes a rotation unit configured to rotate the catheter gripped by the feed units.




Description

BACKGROUND



[0001] Embodiments of the inventive concept described herein relate to a catheter delivery device, and more particularly, relate to a catheter delivery device for accurately performing catheterization by automatically inserting a catheter into a blood vessel of a patient and rotating the catheter.

[0002] Catheterization is widely used to treat arrhythmia or blood vessel diseases.

[0003] Accordingly, the introduction of a robot system is required to reduce catheterization time and accurately perform the catheterization.

[0004] Furthermore, an X-ray has to be taken during the catheterization to locate a catheter inserted into a human body.

[0005] However, a doctor and his/her team participating in the catheterization are always exposed to radiation by X-rays, and therefore all processes of the catheterization are required to be remotely performed.

[0006] Meanwhile, to smoothly insert an Electro-Physiology (EP) catheter, which is widely used to treat arrhythmia in the related art, into a blood vessel of a patient, a person has to push the tip of the catheter into the blood vessel, or rotate the catheter, with the person's hands.

[0007] As described above, in the related art, the person inserts the catheter into the blood vessel by holding the catheter with the person's hands and pushing or rotating the catheter. Therefore, the person fails to accurately identify the depth of the catheter inserted, which leads to deterioration in the accuracy of the catheterization. Accordingly, development of a device for accurately feeding a catheter is required.

[0008] Furthermore, a device for feeding a catheter should not slip on the catheter to accurately identify the depth of the catheter inserted, and has to be implemented to allow the catheter to be easily attached and controlled, such that the device easily switches between manual catheterization and automatic catheterization to easily cope with emergency situations.

SUMMARY



[0009] Embodiments of the inventive concept provide a catheter delivery device for easily inserting and removing a catheter, accurately identifying the depth of the catheter inserted, and improving the accuracy of catheterization.

[0010] According to an exemplary embodiment, a catheter delivery device includes a body including a delivery path of a catheter, a pair of feed units having grippers that are located on the delivery path of the body and that grip and release the catheter, in which the pair of feed units are configured to mutually and organically move in among a grip position where the grippers grip the catheter, a forward position where the grippers advance in a state of gripping the catheter, a grip release position where the grippers release the catheter, and a backward position where the grippers retract in a state of releasing a grip on the catheter, and a rotation unit that rotates the catheter gripped by the feed units.

[0011] The grippers of the pair of feed units may be arranged with an interval therebetween along the delivery path of the catheter.

[0012] The feed units may include the grippers paired with each other and disposed on opposite sides of the catheter to face each other, a pair of gripper links pivotally coupled to the pair of grippers, a pair of first links pivotally coupled to the pair of gripper links, a pair of second links pivotally coupled to the pair of first links, a first movable block to which the pair of gripper links and the pair of first links are pivotally coupled, a second movable block to which the pair of second links are pivotally coupled, a pair of threaded shafts that are threaded into the first movable block and the second movable block to perform screw motion and that rectilinearly reciprocate the first movable block and the second movable block along the delivery path, and a pair of threaded shaft drive motors that rotate the pair of threaded shafts in clockwise direction or counterclockwise direction.

[0013] The feed units may include the grippers paired with each other and disposed on opposite sides of the catheter to face each other, a pair of first gripper links pivotally coupled to the pair of grippers, a pair of second gripper links pivotally coupled to the pair of grippers while forming an angle with the pair of first gripper links, a pair of connecting links pivotally coupled to the pair of first gripper links and the pair of second gripper links to form a triangular shape together with the pair of first gripper links and the pair of second gripper links, a pair of auxiliary links pivotally coupled to the pair of connecting links and the pair of second gripper links, a first drive rod pivotally coupled to the pair of first gripper links and the pair of connecting links, a second drive rod pivotally coupled to the pair of auxiliary links, a first linear drive unit that is connected to the first drive rod and that rectilinearly reciprocates the first drive rod, and a second linear drive unit that is connected to the second drive rod and that rectilinearly reciprocates the second drive rod.

[0014] The rotation unit may include a housing that is rotatable relative to the body, an inner gear having a plurality of gear teeth disposed on a particular portion of an inner circumferential surface of the housing, the plurality of gear teeth being arranged along the inner circumferential surface of the housing, a pinion configured to be engaged with the gear teeth of the inner gear, and configured to be rotated, and a pinion drive motor that rotates the pinion.

[0015] The catheter delivery device may further include a plurality of rollers that support the body from the inner circumferential surface of the housing and that are provided on the body to roll. The plurality of rollers may move in rolling contact with the inner circumferential surface of the housing.

[0016] The grippers may have a pad shape that is configured to closely contact with an outer circumferential surface of the catheter.

[0017] The grippers may include a pair of bands that are arranged along the delivery path to face each other with the catheter therebetween and that partly surround the catheter, the pair of bands having a support part that the gripper links of the pair of feed units are brought into contact with or separated from, and a corrugated portion that is provided on a region of the bands other than the support part and that expands or contracts along a direction in which the catheter moves.

[0018] The grippers may include a catheter insertion part that forms an insertion groove into which the catheter is inserted, in which the gripper links of the pair of feed units are brought into contact with or separated from the catheter insertion part, a pair of cover plates on opposite sides of the catheter insertion part, in which the pair of cover plates extend perpendicular to the delivery path of the catheter and are disposed to face each other to cover the body, and a corrugated portion provided on the catheter insertion part and the pair of cover plates other than regions on which the gripper links are supported, in which the corrugated portion expands or contracts along a direction in which the catheter moves.

[0019] The catheter delivery device may further include a fixing part that fixes the housing to a structure.

[0020] The housing may have a cylindrical shape and may include an upper housing and a lower housing vertically divided from each other. One end portion of the upper housing and one end portion of the lower housing may be hinged to each other to open or cover a region of the body, and an opposite end portion of the upper housing and an opposite end portion of the lower housing may be locked by a locking device.

[0021] The threaded shafts may include a threaded shaft portion on which an external male thread for transmitting a rotational force is formed along a lengthwise direction and a sliding rod portion for linear motion.

[0022] A pair of threaded shaft supports that rotatably support the threaded shafts of the pair of feed units may be formed on one side of an upper surface of the body. A pair of branches having a circular arc shape and protruding upward from the body to face each other may be formed on an opposite side of the upper surface of the body.

[0023] The pair of branches may be located adjacent to the rotation unit, and end portions of the pair of branches may be connected by a connecting plate. A catheter mounting hole in which the catheter is movably mounted may be formed through the connecting plate.

[0024] A block receiving portion in which the first movable block is partly received may be concavely formed in a central region of the second movable block.

[0025] According to the present invention, a catheter delivery device having an improved mechanism for inserting a catheter into a blood vessel of a patient. The catheter delivery device is for easily inserting and removing a catheter, accurately identifying the depth of the catheter inserted, and improving the accuracy of catheterization.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS



[0026] 

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a catheter delivery device according to an embodiment of the inventive concept;

FIG. 2 is a right-side view of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view illustrating a state in which an upper housing of FIG. 1 is open;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged perspective view of a pair of feed units of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged perspective view of major parts of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view illustrating a state in which a front feed unit of FIG. 4 is partly removed;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view illustrating a state in which a rear feed unit of FIG. 4 is partly removed;

FIG. 8 is a view illustrating a state in which a catheter is mounted while the upper housing of FIG. 1 is open;

FIG. 9 is a view illustrating a configuration of a pair of feed units according to another embodiment of the inventive concept;

FIGS. 10A and 10B are schematic diagrams illustrating interpretation of a driving relationship of one gripper of FIG. 9;

FIGS. 11A and 11B are views illustrating a result obtained by performing simulation of an interpretation result of FIGS. 10A and 10B;

FIG. 12 is a view illustrating a state in which a gripper according to another embodiment is attached to the pair of feed units shown in FIG. 9; and

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a gripper according to another embodiment.


DETAILED DESCRIPTION



[0027] The above and other aspects, features, and advantages of the inventive concept will become apparent from the following description of embodiments given in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. However, the inventive concept is not limited to the embodiments disclosed herein and may be implemented in various different forms. Herein, the embodiments are provided to provide complete disclosure of the inventive concept and to provide a thorough understanding of the inventive concept to those skilled in the art to which the inventive concept pertains, and the scope of the inventive concept should be limited only by the accompanying claims and equivalents thereof.

[0028] Terms used herein are only for descriptions of embodiments and are not intended to limit the inventive concept. As used herein, the singular forms are intended to include the plural forms as well, unless a context clearly indicates otherwise. It will be further understood that the terms "comprise" and/or "comprising" specify the presence of stated features, components, and/or operations, but do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, components, and/or operations. In addition, identical numerals will denote identical components throughout the specification, and the meaning of "and/or" includes each mentioned item and every combination of mentioned items. It will be understood that, although the terms first, second, etc. may be used herein to describe various components, these components should not be limited by these terms. These terms are only used to distinguish one component from another component. Thus, a first component discussed below could be termed a second component without departing from the teachings of the inventive concept.

[0029] Unless otherwise defined, all terms (including technical and scientific terms) used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by those skilled in the art to which the inventive concept pertains. It will be further understood that terms, such as those defined in commonly used dictionaries, should not be interpreted in an idealized or overly formal sense unless expressly so defined herein.

[0030] Hereinafter, the inventive concept will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings.

[0031] Prior to the description, it should be noted that components having the same configurations in various embodiments are denoted by identical reference numerals and representatively described in one embodiment and only components different from those in the one embodiment are described in the other embodiments.

[0032] A catheter delivery device according to an embodiment of the inventive concept is illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 8.

[0033] As illustrated in the drawings, the catheter delivery device 10 according to the embodiment of the inventive concept includes a body 11, a pair of feed units 31a and 31b, and a rotation unit 61.

[0034] The body 11 has a rectangular plate shape, and a delivery path along which a catheter 1 (e.g., shown in FIG. 8) moves is formed on the body 11. The pair of feed units 31a and 31b are disposed on one side of the body 11, and the rotation unit 61 is disposed on an opposite side of the body 11.

[0035] A pair of threaded shaft supports 13a and 13b that rotatably support threaded shafts 53a and 53b of the pair of feed units 31a and 31b, which are further described below. The pair of threaded shaft supports 13a and 13b are provided on one side of a plate surface of the body 11, for example, on one side of an upper surface of the body 11. The pair of threaded shaft supports 13a and 13b are disposed with an interval therebetween across the lengthwise direction of the body 11. This description, as an example, describes the threaded shaft support located adjacent to the rotation unit 61 as the first threaded shaft support 13a, and the threaded shaft support located on the opposite side to the rotation unit 61 as the second threaded shaft support 13b. Here, the pair of threaded shafts 53a and 53b include a threaded shaft portion on which an external male thread for transmitting a rotational force is formed along the lengthwise direction and a sliding rod portion for linear motion. For example, the threaded shafts 53a of the rear feed unit 31a include a threaded shaft portion at the rear thereof and a sliding rod at the front thereof. The threaded shafts 53a transmit power to a first movable block 51a and a second movable block 41a of the rear feed unit 31a and allow a first movable block 51b and a second movable block 41b of the front feed unit 31b to slide without the transmission of power. Accordingly, a separate linear guide is unnecessary, and thus the number of parts may be reduced.

[0036] A pair of branches 15 having a circular arc shape and protruding upward from the body 11. The pair of branches 15 face each other and formed on an opposite side of the plate surface of the body 11, for example, on an opposite side of the upper surface of the body 11. Each of the branches 15 includes a plurality of rollers 17 provided thereon, which have an interval therebetween and are capable of rolling. The rollers 17 support the body 11 from an inner circumferential surface of a housing 63 of the rotation unit 61, which are further described below. The rollers 17 move in rolling contact with the inner circumferential surface of the housing 63.

[0037] End portions of the pair of branches 15 located adjacent to the rotation unit 61 are connected by a connecting plate 19, and a catheter mounting hole 21 in which the catheter 1 is movably mounted is formed through the connecting plate 19.

[0038] The pair of feed units 31a and 31b having grippers 33a and 33b that are located on the delivery path of the catheter 1, on the body 11. The grippers 33a and 33b grip and release the catheter 1. The grippers 33a and 33b of the pair of feed units 31a and 31b are disposed with an interval therebetween along the delivery path of the catheter 1. The pair of feed units 31a and 31b feed the catheter 1 by mutually organically being moved to be placed in among a grip position where the grippers 33a and 33b grip the catheter 1, a forward position where the grippers 33a and 33b advance in the state in which the grippers 33a and 33b grip the catheter 1, a grip release position where the grippers 33a and 33b release the grip on the catheter 1, and a backward position where the grippers 33a and 33b retract in the state in which the grippers 33a and 33b release the grip on the catheter 1.

[0039] Hereinafter, this description, as an example, describes the feed unit located adjacent to the rotation unit 61 as the rear feed unit 31a, and the feed unit located far away from the rotation unit 61 as the front feed unit 31b. Furthermore, the rear feed unit 31a and the front feed unit 31b have the same components, and therefore specific descriptions of the components of the front feed unit 31b are given by using the rear feed unit 31a. The front feed unit 31b is different from the rear feed unit 31a in terms of an arrangement of some components, and the difference are further described below. Hereinafter, a feeding process of the catheter 1 according to operations of the pair of feed units 31a and 31b are also further described below.

[0040] The rear feed unit 31a includes the pair of grippers 33a, a pair of gripper links 35a, a pair of first links 37a, a pair of second links 39a, the second movable block 41a, the first movable block 51a, the pair of threaded shafts 53a, and a pair of threaded shaft drive motors 55a. Here, the pair of gripper links 53a and the pair of first links 37a may be implemented with one part to form a specific fixed angle. Here, the catheter 1 advances or retracts when the second movable block 41a and the first movable block 51a advance or retract at the same speed. Furthermore, the grippers 33a are closed when the second movable block 41a moves faster than the first movable block 51a, and the grippers 33a are opened when the second movable block 41a moves slower than the first movable block 51a.

[0041] The pair of grippers 33a are arranged in parallel along the delivery path of the catheter 1 to face each other with the catheter 1 therebetween. In this embodiment, the pair of grippers 33a have a pad shape that is configured to closely contact with an outer circumferential surface of the catheter 1. The grippers 33a include a material capable of increasing friction with the catheter 1. For example, the grippers 33a include rubber or silicone material.

[0042] The pair of gripper links 35a have a bar shape with a predetermined length and pivotally combine the pair of grippers 33a on opposite sides of the catheter 1. One end portion of each gripper link 35a is pivotally coupled to the gripper 33a, and an opposite end portion of the gripper link 35a is fixed to the first link 37a at a particular angle and pivotally coupled to the first movable block 51a. The gripper link 35a is disposed toward the rotation unit 61. Here, the gripper link 35a may be integrally formed with the first link 37a while forming the particular angle with the first link 37a.

[0043] The points to which the pair of first links 37a and the pair of gripper links 35a are fixed are pivotally coupled to the first movable block 51a, and an opposite end portion of each first link 37a is pivotally coupled to the second link 39a.

[0044] The pair of second links 39a have a bar shape with a predetermined length. One end portion of each second link 39a is pivotally coupled to the first link 37a, and an opposite end portion of the second link 39a is pivotally coupled to the second movable block 51a.

[0045] Here, all the components, for example, the grippers 33a, the links 35a, 37a, and 39a, the first movable block 51a, the second movable block 41a, the body 11, and the threaded shafts 53a, except the threaded shaft drive motors 55a only include non-magnetic and non-metal materials.

[0046] The second movable block 41a has a rectangular block shape and is disposed across the delivery path of the catheter 1. The pair of second links 39a are pivotally coupled to opposite end portions of the second movable block 41a, respectively. Furthermore, the second movable block 41a has a through-hole (not illustrated) into which one threaded shaft 53a of the rear feed unit 31a is threaded to transmit power by rotation of the threaded shaft 53a and a through-hole (not illustrated) through which the unthreaded portion, for example, the sliding rod portion of one threaded shaft 53b of the front feed unit 31b is coupled. That is, the second movable block 41a of the rear feed unit 31a may be driven in the direction parallel to the catheter 1 by receiving power through the threaded shaft 53a and simultaneously performing sliding motion with the threaded shaft 53b of the front feed unit 31b. Based on the structure described above, a separate linear guide for guiding a linear movement of the second movable block 41a is not required. Further, a block receiving portion 47a in which the first movable block 51a is partly received is concavely formed in the central region of the second movable block 41a. The block receiving portion 47a is concavely formed toward the rotation unit 61.

[0047] The first movable block 51a has a through-hole (not illustrated) that has an internal female thread formed therein and into which the threaded shaft 53a is threaded to perform screw motion, and a through-hole (not illustrated) through which the sliding rod portion of the threaded shaft 53b is coupled. The pair of gripper links 35a are pivotally coupled to the first movable block 51a.

[0048] The pair of threaded shafts 53a have a rod shape with a predetermined length and are arranged parallel to the delivery path of the catheter 1. The pair of threaded shafts 53a are rotatably supported by the pair of threaded shaft supports 13a and 13b. Furthermore, the pair of threaded shafts 53a are threaded into the second movable block 41a to perform screw motion. The pair of threaded shafts 53a rectilinearly reciprocate the first movable block 51a and the second movable block 41a along the delivery path of the catheter 1.

[0049] The pair of threaded shaft drive motors 55a are directly coupled to the respective threaded shafts 53a and rotate the respective threaded shafts 53a in clockwise direction and counterclockwise direction. The threaded shaft drive motors 55a are supported in parallel by the first threaded shaft support 13a disposed adjacent to the rotation unit 61. Here, the grippers 33a perform opening or closing motion when revolutions per minute (RPM) of the pair of threaded shaft drive motors 55a differ from each other, and perform reciprocating motion while remaining in the current state when the RPMs of the pair of threaded shaft drive motors 55a are the same as each other.

[0050] Accordingly, for example, when the threaded shaft drive motors 55a are rotated in one direction, the threaded shafts 53a rotate in the one direction, and the first movable block 51a and the second movable block 41a advance away from the rotation unit 61 by screw motion of the threaded shafts 53a, the first movable block 51a, and the second movable block 41a. The grippers 33a grip and advance the catheter 1 by mutual joint motion between the links in the state of being spaced apart from the catheter 1 and insert the catheter 1 into a blood vessel of a patient.

[0051] In a different example, which is contrast to the above example, when the threaded shaft drive motors 55a are rotated in an opposite direction, the threaded shafts 53a rotate in the opposite direction, and the second movable block 41a retracts to approach the rotation unit 61 by screw motion of the threaded shafts 53a, the first movable block 51a, and the second movable block 41a. By mutual joint motion between the links, the grippers 33a gripping the catheter 1 move away from the catheter 1 and retract in the state of not gripping the catheter 1.

[0052] The catheter 1 is fed along the delivery path of the catheter 1 and inserted into the blood vessel of the patient, by the series of above actions.

[0053] Here, the grippers 33a and the gripper links 35a, the gripper links 35a and the first movable block 51a, the first links 37a and the second links 39a, and the second links 39a and the second movable block 41a are pivotally coupled with each other by pins (not illustrated in the figures in the present disclosure).

[0054] Meanwhile, the front feed unit 31b of the catheter delivery device 10 according to the embodiment of the inventive concept differs from the rear feed unit 31a in that the grippers 33b and the second movable block 41b are disposed adjacent to the second threaded shaft support 13b. Furthermore, the first movable block 51a and the second movable block 41b of the front feed unit 31b have through-holes (not illustrated) through which the pair of threaded shafts 53b are coupled and through-holes (not illustrated) through which the sliding rod portions of the pair of threaded shafts 53a of the rear feed unit 31a are coupled.

[0055] Internal female threads into which the threaded shafts 53b are threaded to perform screw motion are formed in the through-holes of the first and second movable blocks 51a and 41b through which the pair of threaded shafts 53b of the front feed unit 31b pass. Further, a block receiving portion 47b in which the first movable block 51a is partly received is concavely formed in the central region of the second movable block 41b. The block receiving portion 47b is concavely formed toward the opposite side to the rotation unit 61. Accordingly, the first movable block 51b of the front feed unit 31b and the first movable block 51a of the rear feed unit 31a are disposed to face each other.

[0056] Furthermore, likewise to the threaded shaft drive motors 55a of the rear feed unit 31a, a pair of threaded shaft drive motors 55b of the front feed unit 31b are supported in parallel by the first threaded shaft support 13a.

[0057] Here, reference numeral 35b not described denotes gripper links of the front feed unit 31b, reference numeral 37b not described denotes first links of the front feed unit 31b, and reference numeral 39b not described denotes second links of the front feed unit 31b.

[0058] As described above, in the catheter delivery device 10 according to the embodiment of the inventive concept, the grippers 33b, the links 35b, 37b, and 39b, the first movable block 51a, and the second movable block 41b of the front feed unit 31b and the grippers 33a, the links 35a, 37a, and 39a, the movable block 41a, and the support block 51a of the rear feed unit 31a are disposed between the pair of threaded shaft supports 13a and 13b of the body 11 to form a catheter placement unit 301 for feeding and inserting the catheter 1 into the blood vessel of the patient. Here, although not illustrated, the front feed unit 31b and the rear feed unit 31a may be disposed to cover each other while forming layers, thereby reducing the interval between the pair of threaded shaft supports 13a and 13b and thus reducing the entire length of the catheter delivery device 10 to achieve compactness of the catheter delivery device 10.

[0059] The rotation unit 61 rotates the catheter 1 gripped by at least one of the pair of feed units 31a and 31b. The rotation unit 61 includes the housing 63, an inner gear 81, a pinion 83, and a pinion drive motor 85.

[0060] The housing 63 has a hollow cylindrical shape and receives a portion of the body 11 therein. The housing 63 has a track 69 formed on one side of the inner circumferential surface thereof, and the plurality of rollers 17 of the body 11 are supported on the track 69 and move in rolling contact with the track 69.

[0061] Meanwhile, the housing 63 in this embodiment includes an upper housing 65 and a lower housing 67 divided from each other in the vertical direction. One end portion of the upper housing 65 and one end portion of the lower housing 67 are hinged to each other by a hinge pin, and an opposite end portion of the upper housing 65 and an opposite end portion of the lower housing 67 are locked by a locking device 73.

[0062] Accordingly, when the locking device 73 is unlocked and the upper housing 65 is rotated upward with respect to the lower housing 67, the upper housing 65 is rotated about the hinge pin to open a region of the body 11. In contrast, when the upper housing 65 is rotated downward with respect to the lower housing 67 and locked by the locking device 73, the region of the body 11 is covered without being exposed to the outside. Accordingly, the upper housing 65 may be opened to simply and conveniently mount the catheter 1 on the delivery path of the catheter 1 above the body 11 or to simply and conveniently remove the catheter 1 from the delivery path of the catheter 1.

[0063] Furthermore, a fixing part 75 for fixing the housing 63 to a structure is provided on the outside of the housing 63. Accordingly, the catheter delivery device 10 according to the embodiment of the inventive concept may be stably used by fixing the catheter delivery device 10 to a structure, such as a separate robot arm or a bed support, through the fixing part 75.

[0064] The inner gear 81 includes a plurality of gear teeth formed on a region of the inner circumferential surface of the housing 63, for example, on an opposite side of the inner circumferential surface of the housing 63. Accordingly, the inner gear 81 has a ring gear shape.

[0065] The pinion 83 has the shape of an outer gear that includes gear teeth having the same shape and size as the gear teeth of the inner gear 81. The pinion 83 is configured to be engaged with the gear teeth of the inner gear 81 to rotate.

[0066] The pinion drive motor 85 is directly coupled with the pinion 83 and rotates the pinion 83 in clockwise direction and counterclockwise direction. The pinion drive motor 85 is supported on a bottom surface of the body 11 received in the housing 63.

[0067] Accordingly, when the pinion drive motor 85 is rotated in one direction or an opposite direction in the state in which the grippers 33a, 33b of at least one of the pair of feed units 31a and 31b grip the catheter 1, the rotational force of the pinion drive motor 85 is transmitted to the pinion 83, the pinion 83 rotates in one direction or an opposite direction along the inner gear 81, and the catheter 1 rotates in the one direction or the opposite direction at the same time that the body 11 rotates in the one direction or the opposite direction.

[0068] Hereinafter, a process of feeding the catheter 1 using the above-configured catheter delivery device 10 according to the embodiment of the inventive concept is further described.

[0069] Prior to the description, to help with comprehension of the inventive concept, a movement of the grippers 33a and 33b or the movable blocks 41a and 41b in the direction away from the rotation unit 61 is referred to as a forward movement, and a movement of the grippers 33a and 33b or the movable blocks 41a and 41b toward the rotation unit 61 is referred to as a backward movement.

[0070] First, as illustrated in FIG. 8 of the drawings, the upper housing 65 is opened, and the catheter 1 is disposed on the body 11 along the delivery path of the catheter 1 formed between the pair of grippers 33b of the front feed unit 31b and the pair of grippers 33a of the rear feed unit 31a and is mounted in the catheter mounting hole 21 of the body 11. At this stage, the pair of grippers 33b of the front feed unit 31b and the pair of grippers 33a of the rear feed unit 31a do not grip the catheter 1.

[0071] Next, the upper housing 65 is locked to the lower housing 67 through the locking device 73 to cover a region of the body 11. At this stage, the upper housing 65 and the lower housing 67 form a single ring shape, and the body 11 is supported on the inner circumferential surface of the housing 63 by the plurality of rollers 17.

[0072] Then, in a first step, when the threaded shaft drive motors 55b screwed into the second movable block 41b of the front feed unit 31b are rotated forward in one direction, the second movable block 41b advances by screw motion between the threaded shafts 53b and the second movable block 41b, and the pair of grippers 33b advance together with the second movable block 41b by mutual joint motion between the links and are located in the grip position where the grippers 33b grip the catheter 1.

[0073] In a second step, when the threaded shaft drive motors 55b of the front feed unit 31b are rotated forward in the one direction, the first movable block 51b and the second movable block 41b advance by screw motion between the threaded shafts 53b, the first movable block 51b, and the second movable block 41b, and the pair of grippers 33b are located in the forward position, where the grippers 33b advance by mutual joint motion between the links, in the state of gripping the catheter 1.

[0074] In this second step, when the threaded shaft drive motors 55a of the rear feed unit 31a are rotated backward in an opposite direction, the first movable block 51a and the second movable block 41a retract by screw motion between the threaded shafts 53a, the first movable block 51a, and the second movable block 41a, and the pair of grippers 33a retract by mutual joint motion between the links in the state of not gripping the catheter 1 and are located in the backward position. Accordingly, the catheter 1 is advanced a predetermined distance by the front feed unit 31b and inserted into a blood vessel of a patient, without being disturbed by the rear feed unit 31a.

[0075] In a third step, when the threaded shaft drive motors 55b screwed into the second movable block 41b of the front feeders 31b are rotated backward in the opposite direction, the second movable block 41b retracts by screw motion between the threaded shafts 53b and the second movable block 41b, and the pair of grippers 33b retract together with the second movable block 41b by mutual joint motion between the links and are located in the grip release position where the grippers 33b release the grip on the catheter 1.

[0076] In this third step, when the threaded shaft drive motors 55a screwed into the second movable block 41a of the rear feed unit 31a are rotated forward in the one direction, the second movable block 41a advances by screw motion between the threaded shafts 53a and the second movable block 41a, and the pair of grippers 33a advance together with the second movable block 41a by mutual joint motion between the links and are located in the grip position where the grippers 33a grip the catheter 1.

[0077] In a fourth step, when the threaded shaft drive motors 55b of the front feed unit 31b are rotated backward in the opposite direction, the first movable block 51b and the second movable block 41b retract by screw motion between the threaded shafts 53b, the first movable block 51b, and the second movable block 41b, and the pair of grippers 33b retract by mutual joint motion between the links in the state of not gripping the catheter 1 and are located in the backward position.

[0078] In this fourth step, when the threaded shaft drive motors 55a of the rear feed unit 31a are rotated forward in the one direction, the first movable block 51a and the second movable block 41a advance by screw motion between the threaded shafts 53a, the first movable block 51a, and the second movable block 41a, and the pair of grippers 33a are located in the forward position, where the grippers 33a advance by mutual joint motion between the links, in the state of gripping the catheter 1. Accordingly, the catheter 1 is advanced a predetermined distance by the rear feed unit 31a and inserted into the blood vessel of the patient, without being disturbed by the front feed unit 31b.

[0079] In a fifth step, when the threaded shaft drive motors 55b screwed into the second movable block 41b of the front feed unit 31b are rotated forward in the one direction, the second movable block 41b advances by screw motion between the threaded shafts 53b and the second block 41b, and the pair of grippers 33b advance together with the second movable block 41b by mutual joint motion between the links and are located in the grip position where the grippers 33b grip the catheter 1.

[0080] In this fifth step, when the threaded shaft drive motors 55a screwed into the second movable block 41a of the rear feed unit 31a are rotated forward in the opposite direction, the second movable block 41a retracts by screw motion between the threaded shafts 53a and the second movable block 41a, and the pair of grippers 33a retract together with the second movable block 41a by mutual joint motion between the links and are located in the grip release position where the grippers 33a do not grip the catheter 1.

[0081] When the fifth step is completed as described above, the catheter delivery device 10 returns to the second step and repeatedly performs the second to fifth steps. Accordingly, the catheter delivery device 10 may automatically feed and insert the catheter 1 into the blood vessel of the patient while mutually organically moving the pair of feed units 31a and 31b. Furthermore, the catheter 1 is gripped by either the pair of grippers 33b of the front feed unit 31b or the pair of grippers 33a of the rear feed unit 31a.

[0082] Hereinafter, a process of rotating the catheter 1 using the catheter delivery device 10 according to the embodiment of the inventive concept is further described.

[0083] When the pinion drive motor 85 is rotated forward in one direction in the state in which the grippers 33a, 33b of at least one of the pair of feed units 31a and 31b grip the catheter 1, the rotational force of the pinion drive motor 85 is transmitted to the pinion 83, the pinion 83 rotates forward along the inner gear 81, and the catheter 1 rotates in the one direction at the same time that the body 11 rotates in the one direction.

[0084] In contrast, when the pinion drive motor 85 is rotated backward in an opposite direction in the state in which the grippers 33a, 33b of at least one of the pair of feed units 31a and 31b grip the catheter 1, the rotational force of the pinion drive motor 85 is transmitted to the pinion 83, the pinion 83 rotates backward along the inner gear 81, and the catheter 1 rotates in the opposite direction at the same time that the body 11 rotates in the opposite direction.

[0085] In the catheter delivery device 10 according to the embodiment of the inventive concept, the operation of feeding the catheter 1 by the pair of feed units 31a and 31b and the operation of rotating the catheter 1 by the rotation unit 61 may be performed separately or simultaneously.

[0086] As described above, the catheter delivery device 10 according to the embodiment of the inventive concept may accurately feed the catheter 1 by allowing the pair of feed units 31a and 31b to mutually organically move among the grip position where the grippers 33a and 33b grip the catheter 1, the forward position where the grippers 33a and 33b advance in the state in which the grippers 33a and 33b grip the catheter 1, the grip release position where the grippers 33a and 33b release the grip on the catheter 1, and the backward position where the grippers 33a and 33b retract in the state in which the grippers 33a and 33b release the grip on the catheter 1.

[0087] Furthermore, the pair of grippers 33a, 33b of at least one of the feed units 31a and 31b always grip the catheter 1 after the catheter 1 is mounted on the catheter delivery device 10 according to the embodiment of the inventive concept. Accordingly, the depth of the catheter 1 inserted into the blood vessel of the patient may be accurately identified, and the accuracy of the catheterization would be improved.

[0088] Moreover, in the catheter delivery device 10 according to the embodiment of the inventive concept, the grippers 33a and 33b of the feed units 31a and 31b would release the grip on the catheter 1 without additional separate devices, and thus the catheter 1 would be easily separated from the catheter delivery device 10. Due to this operation, in an emergency situation during the catheterization, the catheter delivery device 10 is easily switched to a manual mode to allow an operator to directly manipulate the catheter 1 without using a surgical robot.

[0089] In addition, the catheter delivery device 10 would automatically smoothly insert the catheter 1 into the blood vessel of the patient while rotating the catheter 1 by operating the rotation unit 61 when necessary.

[0090] Meanwhile, the catheter inserted into the blood vessel of the patient would be automatically smoothly extracted by performing the above-described steps in the reverse order.

[0091] FIG. 9 illustrates a pair of feed units of a catheter delivery device according to another embodiment of the inventive concept.

[0092] As illustrated in FIG. 9, likewise to the feed units according to the embodiment of the inventive concept, the feed units 131a and 131b according to the other embodiment of the inventive concept are paired with each other, but there is a difference in drive mechanism therebetween.

[0093] Hereinafter, for convenience of description, the feed unit located adjacent to the rotation unit (not illustrated) is referred to as the rear feed unit 131a, and the feed unit located far away from the rotation unit is referred to as the front feed unit 131b. Furthermore, because the rear feed unit 131a and the front feed unit 131b have the same components, the rear feed unit 131a is representatively described, and descriptions of the components of the front feed unit 131b is omitted.

[0094] The rear feed unit 131a includes a pair of grippers 133a, a pair of first gripper links 135a, a pair of second gripper links 137a, a pair of connecting links 139a, a pair of auxiliary links 141a, a first drive rod 143a, a second drive rod 145a, a first linear drive unit 147a, and a second linear drive unit 149a.

[0095] The pair of grippers 133a are arranged in parallel along a delivery path of a catheter to face each other with the catheter therebetween. In this embodiment, the pair of grippers 133a have a pad shape that is configured to closely contact with an outer circumferential surface of the catheter. Here, the pair of first gripper links 135a, the pair of second gripper links 137a, and the pair of connecting links 139a form a triangle shape as a single part.

[0096] The pair of first gripper links 135a have a bar shape with a predetermined length and pivotally combine the pair of grippers 133a on opposite sides of the catheter. One end portion of each first gripper link 135a is pivotally coupled to the gripper 133a, and an opposite end portion of the first gripper link 135a is pivotally coupled to the connecting link 139a and the first drive rod 143a. The gripper links 135a and 137a are disposed toward the rotator.

[0097] The pair of second gripper links 137a have a bar shape with a predetermined length and are pivotally coupled to the pair of grippers 133a, respectively, while forming an angle with the pair of first gripper links 135a. One end portion of each second gripper link 137a is pivotally coupled to the gripper 133a, and an opposite end portion of the second gripper link 137a is fixed to the connecting link 139a while forming an angle with the connecting link 139a and is pivotally coupled to the auxiliary link 141a.

[0098] The pair of connecting links 139a have a bar shape with a predetermined length and have a shape that is fixed to the pair of first gripper links 135a and the pair of second gripper links 137a to form a triangular shape with the pair of first gripper links 135a and the pair of second gripper links 137a. One end portion of each connecting link 139a is pivotally coupled to the first gripper link 135a and the first drive rod 143a, and an opposite end portion of the connecting link 139a is fixed to the second gripper link 137a at a specific angle and pivotally coupled to the auxiliary link 141a.

[0099] The pair of auxiliary links 141a have a bar shape with a predetermined length and are pivotally coupled to the connecting link 139a and the second gripper link 137a. One end portion of each auxiliary link 141a is pivotally coupled to the second gripper link 137a and the connecting link 139a, and an opposite end portion of the auxiliary link 141a is pivotally coupled to the second drive rod 145a.

[0100] The first drive rod 143a is pivotally coupled to the pair of first gripper links 135a and the pair of connecting links 139a. The first linear drive unit 147a is directly connected to a free end portion of the first drive rod 143a.

[0101] The second drive rod 145a is pivotally coupled to the pair of auxiliary links 141a. The second linear drive unit 149a is directly connected to a free end portion of the second drive rod 145a.

[0102] The first linear drive unit 147a is connected to the first drive rod 143a and rectilinearly reciprocates the first drive rod 143a.

[0103] The second linear drive unit 149a is connected to the second drive rod 145a and rectilinearly reciprocates the second drive rod 145a. The second linear drive unit 149a is synchronized with the first linear drive unit 147a to allow the first drive rod 143a and the second drive rod 145a of the rear feed unit 131 a to rectilinearly move at the same speed. Here, the speeds of the first linear drive unit 147a and the second linear drive unit 149a are synchronized with each other to move the grippers forward or backward. Furthermore, the grippers 133a are closed when the speed of the second linear drive unit 149a is higher than the speed of the first linear drive unit 147a, and the grippers 133a are opened when the speed of the second linear drive unit 149a is lower than the speed of the first linear drive unit 147a.

[0104] Here, the gripper 133a, the first gripper link 135a, and the second gripper link 137a are pivotally coupled by a pin (non-illustrated in the figures of the present disclosure), the coupling point of the first gripper link 135a, the connecting link 139a, and the first drive rod 143a are pivotally coupled by another pin (non-illustrated in the figures of the present disclosure), the second gripper link 137a, the connecting link 139a, and the auxiliary link 141a are pivotally coupled by a different pin (non-illustrated in the figures of the present disclosure), and the auxiliary link 141a and the second drive rod 145a are pivotally coupled by another different pin (non-illustrated in the figures of the present disclosure).

[0105] Among other reference numerals not described above, reference numeral 133b denotes grippers of the front feed unit 131b, reference numeral 135b denotes first gripper links of the front feed unit 131b, reference numeral 137b denotes second gripper links of the front feed unit 131b, reference numeral 139b denotes connecting links of the front feed unit 131b, and reference numeral 141b denotes auxiliary links of the front feed unit 131b. Moreover, reference numeral 143b denotes a first drive rod of the front feed unit 131b, reference numeral 145b denotes a second drive rod of the front feed unit 131b, reference numeral 147b denotes a first linear drive unit of the front feed unit 131b, and reference numeral 149b denotes a second linear drive unit of the front feed unit 131b.

[0106] Hereinafter, a process of feeding the catheter using the above-configured pair of feed units 131a and 131b according to the other embodiment of the inventive concept is described

[0107] First, the upper housing 65 is opened, and the catheter is disposed on the body 11 along the delivery path of the catheter formed between the pair of grippers 133b of the front feed unit 131b and the pair of grippers 133b of the rear feed unit 131a and is mounted in the catheter mounting hole 21 of the body 11. At this stage, the pair of grippers 133b of the front feed unit 131b and the pair of grippers 133a of the rear feed unit 131a do not grip the catheter.

[0108] Next, the upper housing 65 is locked to the lower housing 67 through the locking device 73 to cover a region of the body 11.

[0109] Then, in a first step, when the second drive rod 145b is advanced by driving the second linear drive unit 149b connected to the second drive rod 145b of the front feed unit 131b, the pair of grippers 133b gripping the catheter advance a predetermined distance by mutual joint motion between the links, and the pair of grippers 133b are located in a grip position where the grippers 133b grip the catheter.

[0110] In a second step, when the first drive rod 143b and the second drive rod 145b are advanced by driving the linear drive units 147b and 149b of the front feed unit 131b, the pair of grippers 133b advance by mutual joint motion between the links in the state of gripping the catheter, and the pair of grippers 133b are located in a forward position and insert the catheter into a blood vessel of a patient.

[0111] In this second step, when the first drive rod 143a and the second drive rod 145a are moved backward by driving the linear drive units 147a and 149a of the rear feed unit 131a, the pair of grippers 133a retract by mutual joint motion between the links in the state of not gripping the catheter, and the pair of grippers 133a are located in a backward position. Accordingly, the catheter is advanced a predetermined distance by the front feed unit 31b and inserted into the blood vessel of the patient, without being disturbed by the rear feed unit 31a.

[0112] In a third step, when the second drive rod 145b is moved backward by driving the second linear drive unit 149b connected to the second drive rod 145b of the front feed unit 131b, the pair of grippers 133b retract a predetermined distance by mutual joint motion between the links, and the pair of grippers 133b are located in a grip release position where the grippers 133b release the grip on the catheter.

[0113] In this third step, when the second drive rod 145a is advanced by driving the second linear drive unit 149a connected to the second drive rod 145a of the rear feed unit 131a, the pair of grippers 133a advance a predetermined distance by mutual joint motion between the links, and the pair of grippers 133a are located in a grip position where the grippers 133a grip the catheter.

[0114] In a fourth step, when the first drive rod 143b and the second drive rod 145b are moved backward by driving the linear drive units 147b and 149b of the front feed unit 131b, the pair of grippers 133b retract by mutual joint motion between the links in the state of not gripping the catheter, and the pair of grippers 133b are located in the backward position.

[0115] In this fourth step, when the first drive rod 143a and the second drive rod 145a are advanced by driving the linear drive units 147a and 149a of the rear feed unit 131a, the pair of grippers 133a advance by mutual joint motion between the links in the state of gripping the catheter, and the pair of grippers 133a are located in a forward position. Accordingly, the catheter is advanced a predetermined distance by the rear feed unit 31a and inserted into the blood vessel of the patient, without being disturbed by the front feed unit 31b.

[0116] In a fifth step, when the second drive rod 145b is advanced by driving the second linear drive unit 149b connected to the second drive rod 145b of the front feed unit 131b, the pair of grippers 133b advance a predetermined distance by mutual joint motion between the links, and the pair of grippers 133b are located in the grip position where the grippers 133b grip the catheter.

[0117] In this fifth step, when the second drive rod 145a is moved backward by driving the second linear drive unit 149a connected to the second drive rod 145a of the rear feed unit 131a, the pair of grippers 133a retract a predetermined distance by mutual joint motion between the links, and the pair of grippers 133a are located in a grip release position where the grippers 133a release the grip on the catheter.

[0118] When the fifth step is completed as described above, the catheter delivery device returns to the second step and repeatedly performs the second to fifth steps. Accordingly, the catheter delivery device may automatically feed and insert the catheter into the blood vessel of the patient while mutually organically moving the pair of feed units 131a and 31b. Furthermore, the catheter is always gripped by either the pair of grippers 133b of the front feed unit 131b or the pair of grippers 133a of the rear feed unit 131a.

[0119] Accordingly, likewise to the feed units according to the embodiment described above, the pair of feed units 131a and 131b according to the other embodiment of the inventive concept may operate to mutually and organically being moved in one of the grip position where the grippers 133a and 133b grip the catheter, the forward position where the grippers 133a and 133b advance in the state of gripping the catheter, the grip release position where the grippers 133a and 133b release the grip on the catheter, and the backward position where the grippers 133a and 133b retract in the state in which the grippers 133a and 133b release the grip on the catheter, thereby accurately feeding the catheter, allowing the depth of the catheter inserted to be accurately identified, and improving the accuracy of the catheterization.

[0120] FIGS. 10A and 10B are schematic diagrams illustrating interpretation of a driving relationship of one gripper of the feed units according to the other embodiment of the inventive concept.

[0121] It can be seen that both the Y-direction position Y_e of a rubber pad, for example, the gripper for an operation of gripping a catheter and the position X_e for a forward movement and a backward movement of the gripper can be independently controlled as illustrated in FIG. 10.

[0122] FIGS. 11A and 11B are views illustrating a result obtained by performing simulation of the interpretation result of FIGS. 10A and 10B.

[0123] The feed unit 131a for driving the grippers according to the other embodiment of the inventive concept is illustrated in FIG. 11A. The pair of feed units 131a and 131b are provided as illustrated in FIG. 9 by extending the feed unit 131a, and when the pair of feed units 131a and 131b are alternately moved mutually organically as in the detailed description of the process of feeding the catheter, catheterization may be performed as if a person inserts a catheter into a blood vessel of a patient by alternately using the person's both hands. Furthermore, the grippers 133a and 133b of the respective feed units 131a and 131b may completely grip the catheter through a wide surface like fingers of a person, thereby easily transmitting a force when feeding and rotating the catheter.

[0124] FIG. 12 illustrates a gripper according to another embodiment of the inventive concept.

[0125] As illustrated in FIG. 12, the gripper 200 according to the other embodiment of the inventive concept is attached to, for example, the pair of feed units 131a and 131b according to the other embodiment of the inventive concept.

[0126] Unlike the above-described grippers according to the embodiment, the gripper 200 according to the other embodiment of the inventive concept includes a pair of bands 201 and corrugated portions 207.

[0127] The pair of bands 201 have a strap shape with a predetermined length. The pair of bands 210 are arranged along a delivery path of a catheter to face each other with the catheter therebetween and partly surround the catheter. Furthermore, the pair of bands 201 include support parts 203, and the gripper links (not illustrated in the figures of the present disclosure) of the pair of feed units 131a and 131b are brought into contact with, or separated from, the support parts 203.

[0128] The corrugated portions 207 are provided on regions of the bands 201 other than the support parts 203. The corrugated portions 207 have a continuous wave form so as to be expanded or contracted along the delivery direction of the catheter, for example, the lengthwise direction of the bands 210.

[0129] Accordingly, the gripper 200 may prevent the catheter being inserted into a body of a patient from being contaminated by an external environment, thereby enabling the catheter to be inserted in a sanitary way. The gripper 200 according to these embodiments may include rubber, silicone, or vinyl material and may be used for single-patient use.

[0130] Further, the gripper 200 according to the other embodiment of the inventive concept may be pivotally coupled with the gripper links. Furthermore, the pivotally coupled gripper may have a shape that can be covered with a pad.

[0131] FIG. 13 illustrates a gripper according to another embodiment of the inventive concept.

[0132] Unlike the grippers in the above-described embodiments, the gripper 300 according to the other embodiment of the inventive concept includes a catheter insertion part 310, a pair of cover plates 305, and corrugated portions 307 as illustrated in FIG. 13.

[0133] The catheter insertion part 301 has a rectangular cross-section that is open at one side. The open region of the catheter insertion part 301 forms an insertion groove 303 into which a catheter is inserted. Furthermore, although not illustrated, gripper links of a pair of feed units are brought into contact with, or separated from, the catheter insertion part 301.

[0134] The pair of cover plates 305 on opposite sides of the catheter insertion part 301 laterally extend with respect to the delivery path of the catheter and are disposed to face each other to cover the body 11 of the catheter delivery device.

[0135] The corrugated portions 307 are formed on the catheter insertion part 301 and the pair of cover plates 305 other than the regions on which the gripper links (not illustrated in the figures of the present disclosure) are supported. The corrugated portions 207 have a continuous wave form so as to be expanded or contracted along the delivery direction of the catheter, for example, the lengthwise direction of the catheter insertion part 301 and the pair of cover plates 305.

[0136] Accordingly, the gripper 300 may prevent the catheter being inserted into a body of a patient from being contaminated by an external environment, thereby enabling the catheter to be inserted in a sanitary way. Also, the gripper 300 may reduce contamination of the body 11 by foreign substances attached to the catheter when the catheter is removed from the body of the patient. The gripper 300 according to the other embodiment of the inventive concept may include rubber, silicone, or vinyl material and may be used for single-patient use.

[0137] Here, the gripper 300 according to the other embodiment of the inventive concept may be pivotally coupled with the gripper links. Furthermore, the pivotally coupled gripper may have a shape that can be covered with a pad.

[0138] Although the catheter delivery device that feeds one catheter has been described in the above-described embodiments, the inventive concept is not limited thereto, and a catheter delivery device that feeds a plurality of catheters may be implemented without departing from the scope of the inventive concept.

[0139] Furthermore, although the process of inserting the catheter into the blood vessel of the patient has been described in the above-described embodiments, the inventive concept is not limited thereto, and the catheter may be automatically smoothly removed by changing the operation process of the feed units such that the catheter is extracted from the blood vessel of the patient in the state in which the grippers of any one of the pair of feed units grip the catheter.

[0140] In addition, the catheter delivery device according to the inventive concept may be provided as one of some components including a steering drive unit that remotely controls the curvature of a bending section of a catheter and a master system for haptic corresponding to a user input, and insertion of the catheter into a blood vessel of a patient may be remotely controlled through the master system.


Claims

1. A catheter delivery device comprising:

a body including a delivery path of a catheter;

a pair of feed units having grippers located on the delivery path of the body and configured to grip and release the catheter,

wherein the pair of feed units are configured to mutually and organically move in among a grip position where the grippers grip the catheter, a forward position where the grippers advance in a state of gripping the catheter, a grip release position where the grippers release the catheter, and a backward position where the grippers retract in a state of releasing a grip on the catheter; and

a rotation unit configured to rotate the catheter gripped by the feed units.


 
2. The catheter delivery device of claim 1, wherein the grippers of the pair of feed units are arranged with an interval therebetween along the delivery path of the catheter.
 
3. The catheter delivery device of claim 1, wherein the feed units include:

the grippers paired with each other and disposed on opposite sides of the catheter to face each other;

a pair of gripper links pivotally coupled to the pair of grippers;

a pair of first links pivotally coupled to the pair of gripper links;

a pair of second links pivotally coupled to the pair of first links;

a first movable block to which the pair of gripper links and the pair of first links are pivotally coupled;

a second movable block to which the pair of second links are pivotally coupled;

a pair of threaded shafts threaded into the first movable block and the second movable block to perform screw motion, and configured to rectilinearly reciprocate the first movable block and the second movable block along the delivery path; and

a pair of threaded shaft drive motors configured to rotate the pair of threaded shafts in clockwise direction or counterclockwise direction.


 
4. The catheter delivery device of claim 1, wherein the feed units include:

the grippers paired with each other and disposed on opposite sides of the catheter to face each other;

a pair of first gripper links pivotally coupled to the pair of grippers;

a pair of second gripper links pivotally coupled to the pair of grippers while forming an angle with the pair of first gripper links;

a pair of connecting links pivotally coupled to the pair of first gripper links and the pair of second gripper links to form a triangular shape together with the pair of first gripper links and the pair of second gripper links;

a pair of auxiliary links pivotally coupled to the pair of connecting links and the pair of second gripper links;

a first drive rod pivotally coupled to the pair of first gripper links and the pair of connecting links;

a second drive rod pivotally coupled to the pair of auxiliary links;

a first linear drive unit connected to the first drive rod, and configured to rectilinearly reciprocate the first drive rod; and

a second linear drive unit connected to the second drive rod, and configured to rectilinearly reciprocate the second drive rod.


 
5. The catheter delivery device of claim 1, wherein the rotation unit includes:

a housing that is rotatable relative to the body;

an inner gear having a plurality of gear teeth disposed on a particular portion of an inner circumferential surface of the housing, the plurality of gear teeth being arranged along the inner circumferential surface of the housing;

a pinion configured to be engaged with the gear teeth of the inner gear, and configured to be rotated; and

a pinion drive motor configured to rotate the pinion.


 
6. The catheter delivery device of claim 5, further comprising:
a plurality of rollers configured to support the body from the inner circumferential surface of the housing, and provided on the body to roll, wherein the plurality of rollers configured to move in rolling contact with the inner circumferential surface of the housing.
 
7. The catheter delivery device of claim 1, wherein the grippers have a pad shape configured to closely contact with an outer circumferential surface of the catheter.
 
8. The catheter delivery device of claim 3 or 4, wherein the grippers include:

a pair of bands arranged along the delivery path to face each other with the catheter therebetween, and configured to partly surround the catheter, the pair of bands having a support part that the gripper links of the pair of feed units are brought into contact with or separated from; and

a corrugated portion provided on a region of the bands other than the support part and configured to expand or contract along a direction in which the catheter moves.


 
9. The catheter delivery device of claim 3 or 4, wherein the grippers include:

a catheter insertion part configured to form an insertion groove into which the catheter is inserted, wherein the gripper links of the pair of feed units are brought into contact with or separated from the catheter insertion part;

a pair of cover plates on opposite sides of the catheter insertion part, wherein the pair of cover plates extend perpendicular to the delivery path of the catheter and are disposed to face each other to cover the body; and

a corrugated portion provided on the catheter insertion part and the pair of cover plates other than regions on which the gripper links are supported, wherein the corrugated portion expands or contracts along a direction in which the catheter moves.


 
10. The catheter delivery device of claim 5, further comprising:
a fixing part configured to fix the housing to a structure.
 
11. The catheter delivery device of claim 5, wherein the housing has a cylindrical shape and includes an upper housing and a lower housing vertically divided from each other, and
wherein one end portion of the upper housing and one end portion of the lower housing are hinged to each other to open or cover a region of the body, and an opposite end portion of the upper housing and an opposite end portion of the lower housing are locked by a locking device.
 
12. The catheter delivery device of claim 3, wherein the threaded shafts include a threaded shaft portion on which an external male thread for transmitting a rotational force is formed along a lengthwise direction and a sliding rod portion for linear motion.
 
13. The catheter delivery device of claim 3, wherein a pair of threaded shaft supports configured to rotatably support the threaded shafts of the pair of feed units are formed on one side of an upper surface of the body, and
wherein a pair of branches having a circular arc shape and protruding upward from the body to face each other are formed on an opposite side of the upper surface of the body.
 
14. The catheter delivery device of claim 13, wherein the pair of branches are located adjacent to the rotation unit, and end portions of the pair of branches are connected by a connecting plate, and
wherein a catheter mounting hole in which the catheter is movably mounted is formed through the connecting plate.
 
15. The catheter delivery device of claim 3, wherein a block receiving portion in which the first movable block is partly received is concavely formed in a central region of the second movable block.
 




Drawing