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  • MIT engineers have developed a thread-like robot

  • that can actively glide through narrow, winding pathways,

  • such as the vasculature of the brain.

  • This magnetically-controlled device

  • is a hydrogel-coated robotic thread or guide

  • wire that could be used to deliver clot-reducing therapies

  • and other treatments in response to certain brain blockages,

  • such as stroke or aneurysms.

  • To clear blood clots in the brain,

  • doctors often perform a minimally invasive surgery

  • in which a surgeon inserts a thin wire through a patient's

  • main artery typically in the leg or groin,

  • then manually manipulate the wire up

  • to the damaged brain vessel.

  • These medical guide wires used in such procedures

  • are passive and require surgeons specifically

  • trained in the task.

  • They are also made of a core of metallic alloys coated

  • in polymer, a material that the researchers say

  • could potentially generate friction and damage vessel

  • linings if the wire were to get stuck

  • in a particularly tight space.

  • To help improve such endovascular procedures,

  • the MIT engineers combined their work

  • in hydrogels and magnetic actuation

  • to produce a magnetically steerable

  • hydrogel-coated robotic thread, which

  • they were able to make thin enough

  • to guide through a life-sized silicone replica of the brain's

  • blood vessels.

  • The core of the robotic thread is

  • made from nickel titanium alloy, a material that

  • is both bendy and springy.

  • The team then coated the wire's core in a rubbery paste or ink,

  • which they embedded throughout with magnetic particles.

  • Finally, they used a chemical process

  • they previously developed to coat and bond

  • the magnetic covering with hydrogel, a material that

  • does not affect the responsiveness

  • of the underlying magnetic particles

  • and, yet, provides the wire with a smooth, friction-free

  • biocompatible surface.

  • They demonstrated the robotic thread's precision

  • and activation by using a large magnet

  • to steer the thread through an obstacle

  • course of small rings reminiscent of a thread working

  • its way through the eye of a needle.

  • The researchers also tested the thread

  • in a life-sized silicone replica of the brain's major blood

  • vessels, including clots and aneurysms

  • modeled after the CT scans of an actual patient's brain.

  • The team filled the silicone vessels

  • with a liquid simulating the viscosity of blood, then

  • manually manipulated a large magnet around the model

  • to steer the robot through the vessel's winding narrow paths.

  • The researchers say the robotic thread can be functionalized,

  • meaning that features can be added, for example, to deliver

  • clot-reducing drugs or to break up blockages with laser light.

  • Their hope is to soon leverage existing technologies to test

  • the robotic thread in vivo.


MIT engineers have developed a thread-like robot


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B2 中高級

機器人線程 (Robo-thread)

  • 16 1
    林宜悉 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日