OCT 15, 2019 2:26 PM PDT

Robotic Thread Can Slip Through The Brains Blood Vessels

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Engineers have designed a hydrogel-coated magnetic steerable thread-like robot capable of gliding through narrow pathways such as the labrynthine vasculature of the brain. The study combines work on hydrogels and magnetic actuation. Future use of the thread may pair it with current endovascular technologies that can enable doctors to remotely move the robot through a patient's brain vessels and treat blockages and lesions.

"Stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States. If acute stroke can be treated within the first 90 minutes or so, patients' survival rates could increase significantly," says Xuanhe Zhao, associate professor of mechanical engineering and of civil and environmental engineering at MIT. "If we could design a device to reverse blood vessel blockage within this 'golden hour,' we could potentially avoid permanent brain damage. That's our hope."

MIT engineers have developed robotic thread (in black) that can be steered magnetically and is small enough to work through narrow spaces such as the vasculature of the human brain. The researchers envision the technology may be used in the future to clear blockages in patients with stroke and aneurysms. MIT.EDU Image and Caption Credit

"Existing platforms could apply magnetic field and do the fluoroscopy procedure at the same time to the patient, and the doctor could be in the other room, or even in a different city, controlling the magnetic field with a joystick," says lead author Yoonho Kim, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. "Our hope is to leverage existing technologies to test our robotic thread in vivo in the next step."

Findings of the study were published in the journal Science Robotics and describes the soft-robotic design. Researchers were able to demonstrate the precision of the robotic thread and activation by using a large magnet. Their development can help clear blood clots in the brain and allow doctors to perform an endovascular procedure.

Source: MIT News

About the Author
  • Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
You May Also Like
SEP 23, 2021
Microbiology
Mining Metal From Microbes in Space
SEP 23, 2021
Mining Metal From Microbes in Space
Microbes can be used like little factories to churn out important or valuable chemicals. Now researchers are learning ho ...
OCT 05, 2021
Space & Astronomy
In a First, Researchers Find a Planet Orbiting Three Stars
OCT 05, 2021
In a First, Researchers Find a Planet Orbiting Three Stars
Scientists were mystified by images obtained from Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope, which s ...
OCT 29, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
#BlackinPhysics Week Celebrates Black Physicists
OCT 29, 2021
#BlackinPhysics Week Celebrates Black Physicists
#BlackinPhysics week, a week dedicated to highlighting Black physicists and their contributions to the field of physics. ...
NOV 04, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Improves Depression in 80% Patients
NOV 04, 2021
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Improves Depression in 80% Patients
A novel form of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) treatment improves symptoms of depression within days of treatme ...
NOV 15, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Injectable Therapy Reverses Paralysis within 4 Weeks
NOV 15, 2021
Injectable Therapy Reverses Paralysis within 4 Weeks
Researchers have developed an injectable therapy that can repair tissue damage and reverse paralysis in mice within four ...
NOV 15, 2021
Neuroscience
AI Interprets Eye Movements from MRI Scans
NOV 15, 2021
AI Interprets Eye Movements from MRI Scans
Eye movement during a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan correlates with brain activity. As such, researchers from No ...
Loading Comments...