(ETX Daily Up) – Researchers at the University of Leeds in England have developed a miniature magnetic robot capable of entering the lungs and detecting the presence of cancerous tumors there.
The robot, made up of tiny magnetic sensors, is designed to be able to reach into the tiniest bronchi in the lungs, in order to take tissue samples or even administer a specific anti-cancer treatment, if needed.
They are only 2 mm in diameter and are guided into the lungs by a large magnet located outside the patient. So far, it has only been tested in the lab, on a 3D replica of the bronchial tree. The next stage of research will be to study the effectiveness of the device in the lungs taken from a cadaver.
The procedure currently involves inserting a flexible tube-like instrument, about 3.5 to 4 millimeters in diameter, into the lungs through the nose or mouth. However, this process has its limitations, as it does not allow exploration of certain higher levels of the airways. To penetrate deeper into the lungs, a catheter or thin tube is then passed through the bronchoscope to be able to access these narrow areas. However, the manipulation is very limited and it is often difficult to get exactly where the doctors want it.
That is exactly the purpose of this magnetic robot: to be able to reach any area of the lungs by being “guided” from the outside, by an intelligent system of magnets mounted on robotic arms.
According to these researchers, such a robot could position itself as an important clinical tool in the research and treatment of lung cancer, and even other lung diseases.
Ultimately, this technology could be easier to use for employees and kinder to patients.
The researchers published their first results in the journal soft robots.
Find out how this amazing robot works in the video: youtube.be/CP8BYFwsYo
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