Developing a robot that "swims" through blood vessels to break through blockages and break up clots!



Blood clots could soon be removed using microscopic robots with screw-like propellers that swim through blood vessels carrying drugs to break through the blockage.


Engineers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong have developed the "microbots" inspired by the tails of bacteria such as Escherichia coli.


The tiny robot and its fan are powered by the application of an external magnetic field - and are able to move with and against the direction of blood flow.


Tests carried out in a fake vein filled with pig's blood showed that the robot made the clot-dissolving TPA charge five times more effective than the drug alone.


Given the difficulty of navigating the robots over long distances across the body,

The researchers Warned that this approach may be better applied to more accessible clots.


Roboticist Li Zhang told New Scientist, "The helical structure is just like a fan, so the robot can move the payload from point A to point B. And if you want to introduce something else that isn't anesthetic, that's also possible. For example, stem cell-based therapies. or local heating to kill cancer cells.


To monitor the robot's progress in the artificial vein in their lab tests, Professor Zhang and colleagues used what's called an ultrasound Doppler tracker, which works by measuring the reflection of sound waves passing through the blood.


With their initial study complete, the researchers are now looking forward to further experiments with the microrobot in more realistic conditions.


They will also work to demonstrate that the design can be used safely with the blood vessels of a real human patient.


The full results of the study were published in the journal ACS Nano.


Publication date: 12.01.2022 | Source: Daily Mail From Science and Technology -

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