by Alex Vikoulov [Posted August, 30, 2019 06.30 am PST]
MIT’s engineers created a prototype of a microrobotic worm for easier brain surgeries
Aimed to help neurosurgeons perform less invasive biomedical procedures, a tiny robotic worm can zigzag its way through a model brain. Yoonho Kim and his colleague Xuanhe Zhao at Massachusetts Institute of Technology created the robot out of a soft polymer with embedded ferromagnetic microparticles, meaning it can be navigated using a magnet. The device is coated in a self-lubricating material and is less 0.6 millimetres in diameter.
“The reason why robotics couldn’t go into this domain before is the existing robots that can navigate through a blood vessel were too large in diameter,” says Kim. In fact, existing robots are often limited to millimeter or centimeter scales due to miniaturization challenges inherent in conventional techniques, such as pulling mechanical wires, inflating pneumatics or hydraulics, or embedding rigid magnets for manipulation.
The duo of scientists tested their robot on a silicone model of a human brain, which contained a substance mimicking blood. When controlled with a magnet held outside, the robot could wiggle its way through hard-to-reach blood vessels in the brain.
Video: Ferromagnetic soft continuum robots navigating in brain arteries - MIT Engineering
Combined with these steering and navigating capabilities, additional functionalities such as steerable laser delivery for optogenetics are possible when an optical fiber is inserted into the robot’s body or other modifications are made. Researchers report their invention in the paper titled Ferromagnetic soft continuum robots, published on August 28, 2019 in Science Robotics.
The next step, says Kim, is to test their invention on animals about which the researchers are in talks with neurosurgeons at Harvard Medical School.
READ MORE: Ferromagnetic soft continuum robots
DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.aax7329 [Science Robotics]
Keywords: brain surgeries, neurosurgeons, biomedical procedures, robotic worm, Yoonho Kim, Xuanhe Zhao, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, human brain, steerable laser delivery, optogenetics, ferromagnetic soft continuum robots, Science Robotics, Harvard Medical School
Image Credits: Shutterstock, MIT Engineering
Follow us ↴
e_News™ delivers the most urgent News of the Day that we find relevant to the main theme of EcstadelicNET such as a new, cutting-edge scientific research, technological breakthroughs and emerging trends. Some material may be fully or partially from outside sources. The Top Stories section, on the other hand, contains only original content written by affiliated authors. Take me to Top Stories.
The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's Evolution by Alex M. Vikoulov (2020e): eBook Paperback Hardcover
NOOGENESIS: Computational Biology by Alex M. Vikoulov (2020):
The Ouroboros Code: Reality's Digital Alchemy Self-Simulation Bridging Science and Spirituality by Antonin Tuynman (2019) eBook Paperback
Theology of Digital Physics: Phenomenal Consciousness, The Cosmic Self & The Pantheistic Interpretation of Our Holographic Reality by Alex M. Vikoulov (2019) eBook
The Intelligence Supernova: Essays on Cybernetic Transhumanism, The Simulation Singularity & The Syntellect Emergence by Alex M. Vikoulov (2019) eBook
The Physics of Time: D-Theory of Time & Temporal Mechanics by Alex M. Vikoulov (2019): eBook
The Origins of Us: Evolutionary Emergence and The Omega Point Cosmology by Alex M. Vikoulov (2019): eBook
More Than An Algorithm: Exploring the gap between natural evolution and digitally computed artificial intelligence by Antonin Tuynman (2019): eBook
Alex M. Vikoulov is a futurist, evolutionary cyberneticist and philosopher, editor-in-chief at Ecstadelic Media Group, media commentator, essayist, author of many books, including the 2019-2020 best-seller "The Syntellect Hypothesis: Five Paradigms of the Mind's Evolution."
Our Reddit Community
Our Flipboard Magazine