Path planning for endovascular catheterization under curvature constraints via two-phase searching approach

Zhen Li*, Jenny Dankelman, Elena De Momi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Planning a safe path for flexible catheters is one of the major challenges of endovascular catheterization. State-of-the-art methods rarely consider the catheter curvature constraint and reduced computational time of path planning which guarantees the possibility to re-plan the path during the actual operation. Methods: In this manuscript, we propose a fast two-phase path planning approach under the robot curvature constraint. Firstly, the vascular structure is extracted and represented by vascular centerlines and corresponding vascular radii. Then, the path is searched along the vascular centerline using breadth first search (BFS) strategy and locally optimized via the genetic algorithm (GA) to satisfy the robot curvature constraint. This approach (BFS-GA) is able to respect the robot curvature constraint while keeping it close to the centerlines as much as possible. We can also reduce the optimization search space and perform parallel optimization to shorten the computational time. Results: We demonstrate the method’s high efficiency in two-dimensional and three-dimensional space scenarios. The results showed the planner’s ability to satisfy the robot curvature constraint while keeping low computational time cost compared with sampling-based methods. Path replanning in femoral arteries can reach an updating frequency at 6.4 ± 2.3 Hz. Conclusion: The presented work is suited for surgical procedures demanding satisfying curvature constraints while optimizing specified criteria. It is also applicable for curvature constrained robots in narrow passages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-627
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Assisted Radiology and Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Autonomous endovascular intervention
  • Curvature constraints
  • Flexible catheter
  • Path planning
  • Robotic surgery

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