Mu-Gripper Microsurgical 'Robots'
Tiny Mu-Gripper 'robots' the size of a speck of dust are the latest way to perform a biopsy in the constrained regions of the body.
(Mu-gripper by magnetic catheter)
In two recent peer-reviewed journal articles, the team reported successful animal testing of the tiny tools, which require no batteries, wires or tethers as they seize internal tissue samples. The devices are called “mu-grippers,” incorporating the Greek letter that represents the term for “micro.” Instead of relying on electric or pneumatic power, these star-shaped tools are autonomously activated by the body’s heat, which causes their tiny “fingers” to close on clusters of cells. Because the tools also contain a magnetic material, they can be retrieved through an existing body opening via a magnetic catheter.
In the April print edition of Gastroenterology, the researchers described their use of the mu-grippers to collect cells from the colon and esophagus of a pig, which was selected because its intestinal tract is similar to that of humans.
“This is the first time that anyone has used a sub-millimeter-sized device—the size of a dust particle—to conduct a biopsy in a live animal,” said David Gracias, an associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering whose lab team developed the microgrippers.
Technovelgy readers will not be surprised if I reference the Proteus from the 1966 film Fantastic Voyage. However, a more intriguing reference comes to mind; the cookie-cutters from Neal Stephenson's 1995 novel The Diamond Age.
Microscopic invaders were more of the threat nowadays. Just to name one example, there was the Red Death, a.k.a. the Seven Minute Special, a tiny aerodynamic capsule that burst open on impact and released a thousand or so corpuscle-sized bodies, known colloquially as cookie-cutters, into the victim's bloodstream. It took about seven minutes ... for the cookie cutters to be randomly distributed throughout the victim's organs and limbs.
A cookie-cutter was shaped like an aspirin tablet ... two tiny centrifuges. Detonation dissolved the bonds holding the centrifuges together so that each of a thousand or so ballisticules suddenly flew outward...The victim was just a big leaky sack of undifferentiated gore at this point and, of course, never survived.
Via Johns Hopkins.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/21/2013)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Mimo Baby Monitor
'In every diaper there is a fine copper wire.'- David H. Keller, 1928.
Flying Defibrillator Ambulance Drone
'The death-reversal equipment is on its way...'- Frederk Pohl, 1965.
Erased Memories In A Flash Of Light
'Someone, probably at a government military-sciences lab, erased his conscious memories...'- Philip K. Dick, 1966.
'Artificial Spleen' Cleans The Blood
'The workability of wholly mechanical organs... '- Philip K. Dick, 1964.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
BMW's Remote Valet Parking Assistant
'Mary... claimed her car from the robopark...'
HAVOC Over Venus ala Bespin
'Cloud City is an installation on the planet Bespin...'
Neuroscientist Works Toward Virtual Immortality ala Clarke
'Nothing will be left of Jeserac but a galaxy of electrons frozen in the heart of a crystal.'
A Basic Income TED Talk
'They de-emphasized what lack of work would do to Mr. Everyman'
Smart Window Tints, Powers Itself
'The polawindow, which he tuned to clear transmission.'
What Can Magic Leap Expect From New 'Chief Futurist' Neal Stephenson?
'The goggles throw a light, smoky haze across his eyes...'
Should SETI Talk To Molecular Cloud Barnard 68?
'I myself am building basic chemicals at about 10,000,000,000 times the rate at which building is occurring on the whole ... surface of your planet.'
EXACTO Bullets Change Course In Mid-Air
'This little weapon ejects a rather ingenious missile...'
LikeAGlove Smart Garment Knows Your Size
'The tailor set moving a mechanism...'
Button-Pushing Robots Have Taken Our Jobs, Thankfully
'The ten forked ends of each arm commenced a rattling pressing of the buttons.'
Puls 'Smart Watch' Replaces Your Cell Phone
Even before Dick Tracy, there were Ideas about this.
Small Molecule Walker Takes First Steps
'The bits were in motion.'
US Navy Laser Ready For Use
Fifty years from cartoon to reality.
Fast Lightweight Autonomy Indoor Drones For DARPA
'the Scarab buzzed into the great workroom... and sought the security of a shadowed corner.'
Ninebot One Self-Balancing Wheel
'It had been a long time since the Chief Engineer had ridden one of these silly-looking little vehicles...'
FuturICT Knowledge Accelerator And Psychohistory
'The reactions of human conglomerates to fixed social and economic stimuli...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories