(19)
(11)EP 3 644 018 A1

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

(43)Date of publication:
29.04.2020 Bulletin 2020/18

(21)Application number: 18821399.5

(22)Date of filing:  18.05.2018
(51)Int. Cl.: 
G01D 5/12  (2006.01)
G01B 7/00  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/JP2018/019393
(87)International publication number:
WO 2018/235481 (27.12.2018 Gazette  2018/52)
(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:
KH MA MD TN

(30)Priority: 21.06.2017 JP 2017121780
07.09.2017 JP 2017172549

(71)Applicant: Asahi Intecc Co., Ltd.
Seto-shi, Aichi 489-0071 (JP)

(72)Inventors:
  • HONKURA Yoshinobu
    Chita-gun Aichi 470-2102 (JP)
  • HONKURA Shinpei
    Chita-gun Aichi 470-2102 (JP)

(74)Representative: Winter, Brandl, Fürniss, Hübner, Röss, Kaiser, Polte - Partnerschaft mbB 
Patent- und Rechtsanwaltskanzlei Alois-Steinecker-Strasse 22
85354 Freising
85354 Freising (DE)

  


(54)MAGNETIC ORIENTATION AND POSITION MEASUREMENT DEVICE


(57) To develop a magnetic type azimuth/position measurement device capable of generating a three-dimensional magnetic field in space sufficient for a whole body of a patient and measuring an azimuth and a position of a motion device with an embedded magnetic field sensor, in the sufficiently large three-dimensional space, with the spatial resolution of 20 µm or smaller, the azimuth resolution of 0.2° or smaller, a positional error of 100 µm or smaller, and an azimuth error of 1° or smaller. There is provided a magnetic type azimuth/position measurement device including a three-dimensional magnetic field generating device that generates a uniform magnetic field and an inclined magnetic field independently along an X axis, a Y axis, and a Z axis in given three-dimensional space, a uniaxial magnetic field sensor that measures a strength of the magnetic field, and an arithmetic operation apparatus that calculates a position and an azimuth of the magnetic field sensor in the three-dimensional space.




Description

Field



[0001] The present invention relates to a magnetic type azimuth/position measurement device to find a position and an azimuth of a motion device with an embedded magnetic field sensor in artificially generated three-dimensional magnetic field space.

Background



[0002] With higher technology in medical fields, there have been widely used in-vivo motion devices such as a gastro camera, a catheter, and a vascular endoscope, and there is an increasing demand of grasping a position and an azimuth of such devices. There have been investigated various methods including the method of measuring a position and an azimuth of a magnet or an electromagnet embedded in a device by an external magnetic field sensor (Patent Literature 1), a system combining an uniaxial magnetic field sensor in a device, two magnetic field sensors at predetermined two positions, and an external magnetic field generating device (Patent Literature 2), and a system combining three external magnetic field generating devices and a magnetic field sensor embedded in a distal end of a guide (Patent Literature 3).

[0003] The space for a sensor embedded in the distal end of a catheter is very small and is 0.2 mm in diameter and 0.5 mm or smaller in length. As a magnet or a magnetic field sensor installable at the distal end is smaller, the measurement accuracy of a position is deteriorated. Moreover, as the targeted three-dimensional space is larger, the measurement accuracy of a position by the magnetic field sensor is deteriorated. The conflicting relationship exists between the size of a magnetic field sensor and the size of space to be measured and the positioning accuracy. Thus, it is a difficult problem to measure a position of the distal end of a catheter with high accuracy.

[0004] Therefore, there have not been achieved the spatial resolution of 20 µm or smaller, the azimuth resolution of 0.2° or smaller, a positional error or 100 µm or smaller, and an azimuth error of 1° or smaller.

Citation List


Patent Literature



[0005] 

Patent Literature 1: Japanese Patent Application Laid-open No. 2003-117004

Patent Literature 2: Japanese Patent Application Laid-open No. 2010-179116

Patent Literature 3: Japanese Patent Application Laid-open No. 2015-134166

Patent Literature 4: Japanese Patent No. 5839527 Summary


Technical Problem



[0006] The invention aims at developing a magnetic type azimuth/position measurement device capable of generating a three-dimensional magnetic field in space sufficient for a whole body of a patient and measuring an azimuth and a position of a motion device with an embedded magnetic field sensor, in the sufficiently large three-dimensional space, with the spatial resolution of 20 µm or smaller, the azimuth resolution of 0.2° or smaller, a positional error of 100 µm or smaller, and an azimuth error of 1° or smaller. Solution to Problem

[0007] The inventors found that the above-described problem is solved by adopting the GSR sensor that is a super high-sensitivity micro magnetic sensor in Japanese Patent No. 5839527 (Patent Literature 4) cited in this specification and combining the uniaxial GSR sensor provided at a given position in a motion device and an external three-dimensional magnetic field generating device capable of generating a three-dimensional uniform magnetic field and inclined magnetic field.

[0008] A three-dimensional magnetic field generating device may include the combination of three pairs of coils generating an inclined magnetic field in an X-axis, Y-axis, and Z-axis directions and three pairs of coils generating a uniform magnetic field in the X-axis, Y-axis, and Z-axis directions. Alternatively, a direction of a current applied to an inclined magnetic field generating device may be reversed to generate a uniform magnetic field. This allows omission of the uniform magnetic field coil pair generating a uniform magnetic field in such a direction. Furthermore, the coil structure of the inclined magnetic field generating coil pair and the uniform magnetic field generating coil pair may be selected appropriately.

[0009] The measurement principle of the invention is such that the three-dimensional magnetic field generating device generates a uniform magnetic field as a reference in the order of the X-axis coil, Y-axis coil, and Z-axis coil, and a uniaxial magnetic field sensor sequentially measures the uniform magnetic fields to obtain measurement values hx, hy, hz. The direction cosines for the axes of the magnetic field sensor are hx = cosθ, hy = cosη, and hz = cosϕ. Moreover, on the basis of the azimuth vector and the direction cosines, azimuth angles θ, η, ϕ may be calculated. On the basis of such values, the azimuth vector n (hx, hy, hz) in three-dimensional space (O-XYZ space) is determined.

[0010] Here, the X-axis coil indicates a coil pair capable of giving a uniform magnetic field in the X-axis direction.

[0011] Next, inclined magnetic fields are generated in the order of the X-axis coils, Y-axis coils, and Z-axis coils by the three-dimensional magnetic field generating device including three pairs of coils arranged in the X-axis, Y-axis, and Z-axis directions.

[0012] The X-axis coil generates an inclined magnetic field with an inclination gradient of a given ratio relative to the X, Y and Z axes. In the case of a Maxwell coil pair, when the inclination gradient of the X axis is 1, the inclination gradient of the Y axis and the Z axis is -0.5. Moreover, in the case of a parallel four wire coil pair, two X-axis coil pairs are arranged in the Y-axis direction or the Z-axis direction so that four coils form a set of coil pairs, in which four line currents flow in the Y-axis direction or the Z-axis direction. If the coils are arranged so that four line currents flow in the Y-axis direction, an inclined magnetic field occurs only in the X axis and the Z axis. Meanwhile, if the coils are arranged so that four line currents flow in the Z-axis direction, an inclined magnetic field occurs only in the X axis and the Y axis. Here, the inclination gradient of the X axis is equal to the inclination gradient of the Z axis or the Y axis.

[0013] In the invention, the structure of the inclined magnetic field generating device is appropriately selected in accordance with an object.

[0014] The uniaxial magnetic field sensor sequentially measures the strength of such inclined magnetic fields to obtain measurement values mHx, mHy, mHz. Such measurement values are obtained by detecting inclined magnetic fields in the X-axis, Y-axis, and Z-axis directions by the uniaxial sensor. That is, with the generation of the inclined magnetic field (Hxx, Hxy, Hxz) by the X-axis coil, the inclined magnetic field (Hyx, Hyy, Hyz) by the Y-axis coil, and the inclined magnetic field (Hzx, Hzy, Hzz) by the Z-axis coil, the following simultaneous equation (1) is formed while considering an azimuth of the uniaxial sensor:







[0015] In the case where the parallel four wire coil is adopted only for the Z axis so that four line currents flow in the Y-axis direction, while the Maxwell coil pairs are adopted for the X axis and the Y axis, if inclined magnetic fields are sequentially generated in the X-axis coil, Y-axis coil, and Z-axis coil, in which an inclination gradient by the X-axis coil is ax, an inclination gradient by the Y-axis coil is ay, and an inclination gradient by the Z-axis coil is az, the following nine expressions are formed with a position of the magnetic field sensor R (X, Y, Z) .
Hxx = aX,
Hxy = -0.5aY,
Hxz = -0.5aZ,
Hyx = -0.5aX,
Hyy = aY,
Hyz = -0.5aZ,
Hzx = aZ,
Hzy = 0,
Hzz = aX

[0016] The above-described expressions are substituted in the equation (1), the following simultaneous equation (2) is formed.







[0017] In the case where the parallel four wire coil is adopted for all of three coil pairs, if four line currents flow in the Z-axis direction in the X-axis coil, four line currents flow in the X-axis direction in the Y-axis coil, and four line currents flow in the Y-axis direction in the Z-axis coil, the following simultaneous equation (3) is formed.







[0018] From the equations (2) and (3), the position R (X, Y, Z) of the magnetic field sensor is calculated.

[0019] A singular point is processed in the following manner. When any one of direction cosines hx=cosθ, hy=cosη, hz=cosϕ of the axes is zero, generated magnetic field space is rotated by a given angle with the rest of axes perpendicular to a surface formed by the axis where the direction cosine is zero and a specific axis where the direction cosine is the largest as a rotation axis. Thus, the value of the direction cosine for each axis is not zero, which removes a singular point.

[0020] For example, in the case of Hx = 0, the magnetic field space is rotated by a given angle with an axis perpendicular to both the X axis and either the Y axis or the Z axis with a larger direction cosine, as a rotation axis. In a magnetic field space coordinate system after rotation, the azimuth vector n (hx, hy, hz) and the position R (X, Y, Z) are calculated. Thereafter, a position and an azimuth in the original coordinate system are calculated on the basis of the expression of coordinate rotation.

[0021] If an external magnetic field given by terrestrial magnetism, an iron machine device, a reinforced building, and the like exists, the three-dimensional magnetic field generating device cancels such external magnetic fields to keep zero magnetic field in the three-dimensional space before the start of measurement. This makes it possible to measure, with high accuracy, a direction vector coordinate position of the magnetic field sensor in the coordinate system.

[0022] To continuously perform the above-described operation for short time, it is preferable to devise the method of giving a magnetic field. For example, as the timing of applying a current to the coils of the axes, a uniform magnetic field is generated first for 5 msec for each axis and then an inclined magnetic field is generated for 5 msec for each axis. If such operation is repeated, one measurement takes 30 msec, enabling 33 times of measurement per second.

[0023] Moreover, if a pulse DC current is applied to each coil of the axes for 0.1 msec while switching the coils, one measurement takes 0.6 msec. Furthermore, it is also possible that a DC current and an AC current are overlapped and applied to the coils of the axes, and an azimuth is calculated on the basis of a value of the AC current, while an inclined magnetic field is measured on the basis of a value of the DC value. This allows calculation of a position of the sensor. Such devises only allow the calculation in the invention to be more efficient.

[0024] The size of the coils of the three-dimensional magnetic field generating device is preferably about 50 cm to 3 m in diameter while considering the size and the region of a lesion of a patient. The size of three-dimensional space of a uniform magnetic field is about 10% of the diameter. If the diameter is 1 m, the size of three-dimensional space is about 10 cm. With a large lesion to be treated, a measurement area needs to be expanded. In such a case, the three-dimensional magnetic field generating device or a bed with a patient thereon is preferably movable by about ±5 cm along each axis.

[0025] The strength of the inclined magnetic field is preferably about 1 G to 10 G at a position of 5 cm to 10 cm from the origin, and the gradient is preferably about 0.02 mG/1 µm to 0.2 mG/1 µm.

[0026] As the uniaxial magnetic field sensor, there is adopted a GSR sensor in which a GSR sensor element is integrated with an electronic circuit ASIC. The size of the GSR sensor allows embedding thereof in a motion device such as a catheter. In the case of a catheter, the GSR sensor is preferably small with 0.1 mm to 0.3 mm in width, 0.05 mm to 0.3 mm in thickness, and 0.3 mm to 1.5 mm in length. As the GSR sensor, only a uniaxial element is provided, which allows the length of the magnetic wire as a magneto-sensitive body to be 0.2 mm to 1.0 mm. With a coil pitch of 2 µm to 5 µm, there may be adopted a magnetic field sensor with very high sensitivity improving the sensitivity from 40 mV to 1000 mV/G and the resolution of the magnetic field sensitivity from 0.05 mG/bit to 1 mG/bit.

[0027] Moreover, the ASIC transfers digital signals after AD conversion to an external arithmetic operation apparatus, in which an azimuth and a position are calculated using a given program.

[0028] With the above-described GSR sensor provided at the distal end of a catheter, it is possible to achieve at the same time both characteristics of the sufficient size of three-dimensional space (spherical body with a diameter of 10 cm) and the position/azimuth resolution and the accuracy (spatial resolution of 20 µm or smaller, azimuth resolution of 0.2° or smaller, positional error or 100 µm or smaller, and azimuth error of 1° or smaller). Advantageous Effects of Invention

[0029] With the combination of the three-dimensional magnetic field generating device and the uniaxial magnetic field sensor generating a uniform magnetic field and an inclined magnetic field, it is possible to calculate an in-vivo position and azimuth of an in-vivo motion device with high accuracy.

Brief Description of Drawings



[0030] 

Fig. 1 is a schematic view illustrating a GSR sensor;

Fig. 2 is an electronic circuit diagram;

Fig. 3 is a schematic view illustrating a catheter with an embedded GSR sensor;

Fig. 4 is a schematic view illustrating a configuration of a three-dimensional magnetic field generating device including parallel four wire coils for three axes;

Fig. 5 is a schematic view illustrating a configuration of a three-dimensional magnetic field generating device including parallel four wire coils for one axis;

Fig. 6 is a schematic view illustrating a configuration of a three-dimensional magnetic field generating device including coils generating an inclined magnetic field and Helmholtz coils forming a uniform magnetic field; and

Fig. 7 is a conceptual diagram illustrating a magnetic type azimuth/position measurement device.


Description of Embodiments



[0031] An embodiment of the invention is as follows.

[0032] A magnetic type azimuth/position measurement device of the invention includes a three-dimensional magnetic field generating device that generates a uniform magnetic field and an inclined magnetic field along an X axis, a Y axis, and a Z axis in given three-dimensional space, a uniaxial magnetic field sensor that measures the strength of the magnetic field, and an arithmetic operation apparatus that calculates a position and an azimuth of the magnetic field sensor in the three-dimensional space.

[0033] In the magnetic type azimuth/position measurement device of the invention, the three-dimensional magnetic field generating device includes a parallel four wire coil for at least one of the X axis, the Y axis, and the Z axis.

[0034] In the magnetic type azimuth/position measurement device of the invention, the three-dimensional magnetic field generating device includes two types of coils of a coil forming an inclined magnetic field and a Helmholtz coil generating a uniform magnetic field.

[0035] In the magnetic type azimuth/position measurement device of the invention, a uniform magnetic field as a reference is sequentially generated in the X axis, Y axis, and Z axis using the three-dimensional magnetic field generating device, the values of the uniform magnetic fields are measured by the magnetic field sensor to calculate, on the basis of the three measurement values, an azimuth vector of the magnetic field sensor in the three-dimensional space (O-XYZ space) and direction cosines for the axes of the magnetic field sensor.

[0036] Next, the inclined magnetic field is sequentially generated in the X axis, Y axis, and Z axis while maintaining an azimuth of the magnetic field sensor in the azimuth to measure the values of the inclined magnetic fields by the magnetic field sensor at a given position, so that the given position of the magnetic field sensor is calculated on the basis of the three measurement values and the direction cosines for the axes of the magnetic field sensor.

[0037] In the azimuth/position measurement device of the invention, the magnetic field distribution strength in the three-dimensional space is measured by the magnetic field sensor with the resolution of 1 mG or smaller, and the measurement value is digitally converted and transferred to an external arithmetic operation apparatus, so that a position of the magnetic field sensor in the three-dimensional space is measured with the spatial resolution of 20 µm or smaller and calculated with the accuracy of 100 µm or smaller, and an azimuth of the magnetic field sensor in the three-dimensional space is measured with the spatial resolution of 0.2° or smaller and calculated with the accuracy of 1° or smaller.

[0038] In the magnetic type azimuth/position measurement device of the invention, the three-dimensional magnetic field generating device cancels an external magnetic field to keep zero external magnetic field in the three-dimensional space before the start of measurement.

[0039] In the magnetic type azimuth/position measurement device of the invention, when any one of direction cosines of the axes is zero, generated magnetic field space is rotated by a given angle with a remaining axis perpendicular to a surface formed by a specific axis where the direction cosine is largest and the axis where the direction cosine is zero as a rotation axis, so that a value of the direction cosine for each axis is not zero.

[0040] The following will describe an embodiment of the invention with reference to Fig. 1 to Fig. 7.

[0041] The size of a GSR sensor 31(1), as a magnetic field sensor provided at a distal end of a catheter 3 (Fig. 1 and Fig. 3), is 0.1 mm to 0.2 mm in width, 0.05 mm to 0.10 mm in thickness, and 0.4 mm to 1.0 mm in length. The GSR sensor 31(1) includes a uniaxial GSR element 11 integrated with an ASIC 12. The measurement value is converted into digital signals, transferred to an external arithmetic operation apparatus through two cables 32(13), and converted into a value of a position and an azimuth.

[0042] As the performance of the GSR sensor, the sensitivity is 40 mV/G to 1000 mV/G, a standard error is 1 mG or smaller, and the resolution is 16 bits and 0.05 mG/bit to 1 mG/bit.

[0043] As an electronic circuit 2, there is adopted the electronic circuit in Patent Literature 4 cited in this specification, as illustrated in Fig. 2. The pulse frequency of a pulse current applied to the magnetic wire is 0.2 GHz to 4 GHz. The pulse current has the strength required to generate an over 1.5 times larger circumferential magnetic field than the magnetic anisotropy field on a surface of the magnetic wire.

[0044] The coil voltage occurring at the time of pulse energization is transmitted to a sample hold circuit through a pulse compliant buffer circuit. With the small number of winding of the coil Nc, the coil voltage may be transmitted directly to the sample hold circuit.

[0045] A three-dimensional magnetic field generating device 4 includes coil pairs provided in each axial direction, as illustrated in Fig. 4 to Fig. 6, and has a substantially cube form with a size of 50 cm to 3 m per side. The size of space where a uniform magnetic field occurs is ±2.5 cm to ±15 cm with a center of the cube as an origin. The strength of the inclined magnetic field is about 1 G to 10 G at a position of 5 cm to 10 cm from the origin, and the gradient is about 0.05 mG/1 µm to 1 mG/1 µm.

[0046] In the three-dimensional magnetic field generating device 4, a parallel four wire coil is provided for at least one axis, as a coil forming an inclined magnetic field. In the three-dimensional magnetic field generating device 4 illustrated in Fig. 4, a parallel four wire coil is provided for all of three axes of the X axis, Y axis, and Z axis. Two coils 41a, 41b are arranged on one surface (near-side surface in Fig. 4) of the X axis, and two coils are arranged on the other surface (surface omitted in Fig. 4) thereof, so that four coils are provided in parallel. Next, two coils 42a, 42b are arranged on one surface (right-side surface in Fig. 4) of the Y axis, and two coils are arranged on the other surface (left-side surface omitted in Fig. 4) thereof, so that four coils are provided in parallel. Then, two coils 43a, 43b are similarly arranged on one surface (upper surface) of the Z axis, and two coils are arranged on the other surface (lower surface omitted in Fig. 4) thereof, so that four coils are provided in parallel.

[0047] In the coil pair arranged on the surface (near-side surface) of the X axis, when a current is applied to the coil 41a and the coil 41b in the same direction, a uniform magnetic field in the Z-axis direction occurs. Meanwhile, when a current is applied thereto in opposite directions from each other, an inclined magnetic field with the same gradient occurs in both the Y axis and the Z axis.

[0048] Next, in the three-dimensional magnetic field generating device 4 illustrated in Fig. 5, a parallel four wire coil is arranged only for one axis of the X-axis coil in Fig. 4. For the other two axes, there are arranged a normal coil pair. The Y-axis coil is arranged on the near-side surface, while the Z-axis coil is arranged on the upper and lower surfaces.

[0049] In any coil pair, if a current is applied in the same direction, a uniform magnetic field occurs. Meanwhile, if a current is applied in opposite directions from each other, an inclined magnetic field occurs.

[0050] Moreover, the three-dimensional magnetic field detection device 4 illustrated in Fig. 6 includes three sets of coil pairs of parallel four wire coils forming an inclined magnetic field and three sets of coil pairs of Helmholtz coils forming a uniform magnetic field. With independent coils for generating a uniform magnetic field, it is possible to improve the accuracy of a uniform magnetic field, that is, improve the azimuth accuracy of the uniaxial magnetic sensor and thus improve the positioning accuracy of the sensor.

[0051] Fig. 7 illustrates a conceptual diagram of the magnetic type azimuth/position measurement device, and the measurement method is described in the following.

[0052] The azimuth/position measurement device includes coils 51, a power source 52, a control device 53, an arithmetic operation apparatus (Host CPU) 54, a display device 55, and a GSR sensor 56.

[0053] A three-dimensional uniform magnetic field is generated while a current applied to the coils 51X1, 51Y1, 51Z1 is switched sequentially by the power source 52 under the control of the control device 53. Next, an inclined magnetic field is generated while a current applied to the coils 51X2, 51Y2, 51Z2 is switched sequentially by the power source 52 under the control of the control device 53. The GSR sensor 56 measures the magnetic fields, transfers the result to the arithmetic operation apparatus to calculate an azimuth and a position of the sensor as a measurement value.

[0054] The azimuth is measured by sequentially generating the uniform magnetic field, sequentially measuring the uniform magnetic field as a reference in the X-axis, Y-axis, and Z-axis directions using the uniaxial magnetic field sensor, and performing calculation using the measurement values hx, hy, hz and direction cosines for the axes of the magnetic field sensor hx = cosθ, hy = cosη, hz = cosϕ. The azimuth angles θ, η, ϕ are calculated on the basis of the azimuth vector and the direction cosines. On the basis of such values, the azimuth vector n (hx, hy, hz) in three-dimensional space (O-XYZ space) is determined.

[0055] Next, the position is calculated by measuring the inclined magnetic fields generated in the X-axis, Y-axis, and Z-axis coils using the uniaxial magnetic field sensor, and performing calculation using the measurement values mHx, mHy, mHz and the measured direction cosines in the following simultaneous equation.

[0056] In the case where the parallel four wire coil is adopted only for the Z axis so that four line currents flow in the Y-axis direction, and Maxwell coil pairs are adopted for the rest of axes, the position is calculated by the following simultaneous equation:







[0057] In the case where the parallel four wire coils are adopted for all of three pairs of coils, if four line currents are applied in the Z-axis direction in the X-axis coil, four line currents are applied in the X-axis direction in the Y-axis coil, and four line currents are applied in the Y-axis direction in the Z-axis coil, the position is calculated by the following simultaneous equation:







[0058] As the timing of sequentially applying a current to the coils in the X axis, Y axis, and Z axis to measure an azimuth and a position, a uniform magnetic field is generated first for 5 msec for each axis and then an inclined magnetic field is generated for 0.005 sec (hereinafter, described as 5 msec) for each axis. If such operation is repeated, one measurement takes 30 msec, enabling 33 times of measurement per second.

[0059] To achieve measurement at a higher speed, a pulse DC current with a width of 0.1 msec to 0.3 msec is applied in the same direction to generate a uniform magnetic field, and then a current is applied in opposite directions from each other to generate an inclined magnetic field. This operation is repeated with the interval of 0.6 msec to 1.8 msec, enabling 560 to 1600 times of measurement per second.

[0060] A singular point is processed in the following manner. When any one of direction cosines hx=cosθ, hy=cosη, hz=cosϕ of the axes is zero, the magnetic field space is rotated by a given angle with the remaining axis perpendicular to a surface formed by the axis where the direction cosine is zero and a specific axis where the direction cosine is the largest as a rotation axis. Thus, the value of the direction cosine for each axis is not zero, which removes a singular point.

[0061] For example, in the case of Hx = 0, the magnetic field is rotated by about 15° to 30° with an axis perpendicular to both the X axis and either the Y axis or the Z axis with a larger direction cosine as a rotation axis. In a magnetic field space coordinate system after rotation, the azimuth vector n (hx, hy, hz) and the position R (X, Y, Z) are calculated. Thereafter, a position and an azimuth in the original coordinate system are calculated on the basis of the expression of coordinate rotation.

[0062] If about 0,5 G to 2 G of an external magnetic field given by terrestrial magnetism, an iron machine device, a reinforced building, and the like exists, the three-dimensional magnetic field generating device cancels such external magnetic fields to keep 0 G magnetic field in the three-dimensional space before the start of measurement. This makes it possible to measure, with high accuracy, a direction vector coordinate position of the magnetic field sensor in the coordinate system.

[0063] In the embodiment, the magnetic field distribution strength in three-dimensional space is measured with the resolution of 1 mG (100 nT) or smaller, and the position of the magnetic field sensor in the three-dimensional space is measured with the accuracy of 50 µm or smaller. In addition, the azimuth of the three-dimensional space is measured with the accuracy of 1° or smaller.

[0064] In other words, in the space of ±5 cm to ±10 cm with the origin of the cube-form three dimensional magnetic field generating device as a center, it is possible to achieve the azimuth resolution of 0.05° to 0.2°, an azimuth error of 0.2° to 1°, the positional resolution of 0.4 µm to 20 µm, and a positional error of 20 µm to 50 µm or smaller.

[Example]



[0065] An example of the invention is as follows.

[0066] The size of the GSR sensor 1(31) provided at a distal end of the catheter 3 is 0.15 mm in width, 0.07 mm in thickness, and 0.5 mm in length. The GSR sensor 31(1) includes the uniaxial GSR element 11 integrated with the ASIC 12. The measurement value is converted into digital signals, transferred to an external arithmetic operation apparatus through two cables 13, and converted into a value of a position and an azimuth.

[0067] As the performance of the GSR sensor, the sensitivity is 500 mV/G, a standard deviation σ is 0.1 mG, and the resolution is 16 bits and 0.1 mG/bit.

[0068] As the electronic circuit 2, there is adopted a circuit same as the electronic circuit in Patent Literature 4 cited in this specification (Fig. 2). The pulse frequency of a pulse current applied to the magnetic wire is 1.3 GHz. The pulse current has the strength required to generate an over 1.5 times larger circumferential magnetic field than the magnetic anisotropy field on a surface of the magnetic wire.

[0069] The coil voltage occurring at the time of pulse energization is transmitted to a sample hold circuit through a pulse-support buffer circuit.

[0070] The three-dimensional magnetic field generating device 4 has the structure illustrated in Fig. 6, and the size of the cube form is 1.5 m per side. The size of space where a uniform magnetic field occurs is ±10 cm with a center of the cube as a center. The strength of the inclined magnetic field is about 2 G at a position of 10 cm from the origin, and the gradient is about 0.2 mG/1 µm.

[0071] A power source is attached to each of six coils for generating a uniform magnetic field and an inclined magnetic field. A DC current with a width of 5 msec is sequentially applied in the same direction in the X axis, Y axis, and Z axis to generate a uniform magnetic field, and then a current is applied in opposite directions to generate an inclined magnetic field. The measurement is repeated with the interval of 30 msec, enabling 33 times of measurement per second.

[0072] The three-dimensional magnetic field generating device generates a uniform magnetic field as a reference in the order of the X axis, Y axis, and Z axis, and the uniaxial magnetic field sensor sequentially measures the magnetic fields to obtain measurement values hx, hy, hz. The azimuth vector n (hx, hy, hz) is determined on the basis of such values. Here, with hx = cosθ, hy = cosη, hz = cosϕ, the azimuth angles θ, η, ϕ are calculated.

[0073] Next, the position is calculated by measuring the inclined magnetic fields generated in the X-axis, Y-axis, and Z-axis coils using the uniaxial magnetic field sensor, and performing calculation using the measurement values mHx, mHy, mHz and the measured direction cosines in the following simultaneous equation:







[0074] A singular point is processed in the following manner. When any one of direction cosines hx=cosθ, hy=cosη, hz=cosϕ of the axes is zero, the generated magnetic field space is rotated by a given angle with the remaining axis perpendicular to a surface formed by the axis where the direction cosine is zero and a specific axis where the direction cosine is the largest as a rotation axis. Thus, the value of the direction cosine for each axis is not zero, which removes a singular point.

[0075] For example, in the case of Hx = 0, the magnetic field is rotated by about 15° to 30° with an axis perpendicular to both the X axis and either the Y axis or the Z axis with a larger direction cosine as a rotation axis. In the magnetic field space coordinate system after rotation, the azimuth vector n (hx, hy, hz) and the position R (X, Y, Z) are calculated. Thereafter, a position and an azimuth in the original coordinate system are calculated on the basis of the expression of coordinate rotation.

[0076] If about 0.5 G to 2 G of an external magnetic field given by terrestrial magnetism, an iron machine device, a reinforced building, and the like exists, a given current is applied to the three-dimensional magnetic field generating device to cancel such external magnetic fields to keep 0 G magnetic field in the three-dimensional space before the start of measurement. This makes it possible to measure, with high accuracy, a direction vector coordinate position of the magnetic field sensor in the coordinate system.

[0077] In the example, in the space of ±7.5 cm with the origin of the cube-form three dimensional magnetic field generating device as a center, it is possible to achieve the azimuth resolution of 0.2°, an azimuth error of 1°, the positional resolution of 10 µm, and a positional error of 50 µm or smaller.

Industrial Applicability



[0078] The invention enables in-vivo azimuth/position measurement of an in-vivo motion device such as a catheter and a vascular endoscope. The invention is expected to enable robot medical treatment for advanced treatment and contribute to the widespread use thereof.

Reference Signs List



[0079] 

1 GSR sensor

11 GSR element

12 ASIC

13 cable

2 electronic circuit

21 pulse generator

22 signal processing circuit

221 GSR element

23 buffer circuit

24 sample hold circuit

241 electronic switch

242 capacitor

25 amplifier

26 AD converter

27 communication means

28 Host CPU (arithmetic operation apparatus)

3 catheter

31 GSR sensor

32 cable

33 GSR sensor (long type)

34 cable

4 structure of three-dimensional magnetic field generating device

40 origin

41 Z-axis coil near side (Z-axis uniform magnetic field and inclined magnetic field)

42 Y-axis coil right side (Y-axis uniform magnetic field and inclined magnetic field)

43 X-axis coil upper side (X-axis uniform magnetic field and inclined magnetic field)

44 Y-axis coil (both Y-axis uniform magnetic field and inclined magnetic field)

45 Z-axis coil (both Z-axis uniform magnetic field and inclined magnetic field)

46 Helmholtz coil

47 Helmholtz coil

48 Helmholtz coil

5 configuration of three-dimensional magnetic field generating device

51 coil

51X1 X-axis uniform magnetic field coil

51X2 X-axis inclined magnetic field coil

51Y1 Y-axis uniform magnetic field coil

51Y2 Y-axis inclined magnetic field coil

51Z1 Z-axis uniform magnetic field coil

51Z2 Z-axis inclined magnetic field coil

52 power source

53 control device

54 arithmetic operation apparatus (Host CPU)

55 display device

56 GSR sensor




Claims

1. A magnetic type azimuth/position measurement device, comprising:

a three-dimensional magnetic field generating device that generates a uniform magnetic field and an inclined magnetic field independently along an X axis, a Y axis, and a Z axis in given three-dimensional space;

a uniaxial magnetic field sensor that measures a strength of the magnetic field; and

an arithmetic operation apparatus that calculates a position and an azimuth of the magnetic field sensor in the three-dimensional space.


 
2. The magnetic type azimuth/position measurement device according to claim 1, wherein
a uniform magnetic field as a reference is sequentially generated in the X axis, Y axis, and Z axis using the three-dimensional magnetic field generating device, values of the uniform magnetic fields are measured by the magnetic field sensor to calculate, on a basis of the three measurement values, an azimuth vector of the magnetic field sensor in the three-dimensional space (O-XYZ space) and direction cosines for axes of the magnetic field sensor, and then the inclined magnetic field is sequentially generated in the X axis, Y axis, and Z axis while maintaining an azimuth of the magnetic field sensor in the azimuth to measure values of the inclined magnetic fields by the magnetic field sensor at a given position, so that the given position of the magnetic field sensor is calculated on the basis of the three measurement values and the direction cosines for the axes of the magnetic field sensor.
 
3. The magnetic type azimuth/position measurement device according to claim 1 or 2, wherein
a magnetic field distribution strength in the three-dimensional space is measured by the magnetic field sensor with a resolution of 1 mG or smaller, a position of the magnetic field sensor in the three-dimensional space is measured with an accuracy of 10 µm or smaller, and an azimuth of the three-dimensional space is measured with an accuracy of 1° or smaller.
 
4. The magnetic type azimuth/position measurement device according to any one of claims 1 to 3,
wherein the three-dimensional magnetic field generating device cancels an external magnetic field to keep zero magnetic field in the three-dimensional space before a start of measurement.
 
5. The magnetic type azimuth/position measurement device according to any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein
when any one of direction cosines of the axes is zero, generated magnetic field space is rotated by a given angle with a remaining axis perpendicular to a surface formed by a specific axis where the direction cosine is largest and the axis where the direction cosine is zero as a rotation axis, so that a value of the direction cosine for each axis is not zero.
 
6. The magnetic type azimuth/position measurement device according to any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein
if in the inclined magnetic field generated by the three-dimensional magnetic field generating device, the strength at a position deviating from a center line of each axis deviates slightly from a position of the axis, a deviation amount is measured preliminarily to perform position calculation with high accuracy using a value of the deviation amount as a correction value.
 
7. A magnetic type azimuth/position measurement device, comprising:

a three-dimensional magnetic field generating device that generates a uniform magnetic field and an inclined magnetic field along an X axis, a Y axis, and a Z axis in given three-dimensional space;

a uniaxial magnetic field sensor that measures a strength of the magnetic field; and

an arithmetic operation apparatus that calculates a position and an azimuth of the magnetic field sensor in the three-dimensional space.


 
8. The magnetic type azimuth/position measurement device according to claim 7, wherein
the uniaxial magnetic field sensor includes a magnetic detection element with a magnetic wire and a detection coil wound around the magnetic wire and a signal processing circuit converting a detected coil voltage into a magnetic field strength, and has performance of measuring the magnetic field with a standard error of 1 mG or smaller,
the measurement value is transferred to an arithmetic operation apparatus provided in an outside of the magnetic field space, and
a position of the magnetic field sensor in the three-dimensional space is calculated with a spatial resolution of 20 µm or smaller that is accuracy of 100 µm or smaller, and an azimuth of the three-dimensional space is calculated with an azimuth resolution of 0.2° or smaller that is accuracy of 1° or smaller.
 
9. The magnetic type azimuth/position measurement device according to claim 7 or 8, wherein
the three-dimensional inclined magnetic field generating device includes a parallel four wire coil for at least one of the X axis, the Y axis, and the Z axis.
 
10. The magnetic type azimuth/position measurement device according to any one of claims 7 to 9, wherein
the three-dimensional magnetic field generating device includes two types of coils of a coil forming an inclined magnetic field and a Helmholtz coil generating a uniform magnetic field.
 
11. The magnetic type azimuth/position measurement device according to any one of claims 7 to 10, wherein
a uniform magnetic field as a reference is sequentially generated in the X axis, Y axis, and Z axis using the three-dimensional magnetic field generating device, values of the uniform magnetic fields are measured by the magnetic field sensor to calculate, on the basis of the three measurement values, an azimuth vector of the magnetic field sensor in the three-dimensional space (O-XYZ space) and direction cosines for axes of the magnetic field sensor, and then the inclined magnetic field is sequentially generated in the X axis, Y axis, and Z axis while maintaining an azimuth of the magnetic field sensor in the azimuth to measure values of the inclined magnetic fields by the magnetic field sensor at a given position, so that the given position of the magnetic field sensor is calculated on the basis of the three measurement values and the direction cosines for the axes of the magnetic field sensor.
 
12. The magnetic type azimuth/position measurement device according to any one of claims 7 to 11, wherein
the three-dimensional magnetic field generating device cancels an external magnetic field to keep zero external magnetic field in the three-dimensional space before a start of measurement.
 
13. The magnetic type azimuth/position measurement device according to any one of claims 7 to 12 wherein
when any one of direction cosines of the axes is zero, generated magnetic field space is rotated by a given angle with a remaining axis perpendicular to a surface formed by a specific axis where the direction cosine is largest and the axis where the direction cosine is zero as a rotation axis, so that a value of the direction cosine for each axis is not zero.
 




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REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description