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Home Industry News Remote-controlled microrobots ‘offer numerous medical applications’

Remote-controlled microrobots ‘offer numerous medical applications’

26th July 2016

A new method for building microrobots could lead to the production of remote-controlled machines to aid the treatment of various diseases.

Developed by the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, the microrobots are soft, flexible and do not utilise conventional motors. Instead, they are made of a biocompatible hydrogel and magnetic nanoparticles, which give them their shape and allow them to move when an electromagnetic field is applied.

The prototype robot presented in this work has a bacterium-like flagellum that enables it to swim, potentially allowing it to move freely through the body. The technology can also been shown to change shape in response to heat.

It is thought that microrobots of this kind could be used in future to deliver drugs at specific locations, or perform precise operations such as removing blockages from arteries. They offer a less invasive alternative to complex surgery and could represent a safer, more effective approach for many patients.

Selman Sakar of the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne said: "There are still many factors we have to take into account. For instance, we have to make sure that the microrobots won't cause any side effects in patients."ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801822481-ADNFCR

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