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 -
MC10 Electronics Skin Stickers
'Every diaper... a fine copper wire…' - David H. Keller, 1928.
EDSAP Wearable Stroke Detection
'His Altec cephalochromoscope, around which he had built the pleasure part of his schedule...'- Philip K. Dick, 1977.
In Vivo Micromotors Powered By Stomach Acid
First in vivo study of artificial micromotors.
Patient Walks Out With Fully Artificial Heart
'The throb of the robot pump gave him confidence...'- Philip K. Dick, 1960.
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.
XM82 Personal Flamethrower Now In Development
'Skeletons in tatters. Burned by a flesh gun'
Graphene Cytobot - Cyborg Bacterial Spores May Help Astronauts
'[It] had not yet objected to being made over into a portion of an electronic system... '
Delightful Plen2 Mirror Robot - The Anti-Terminator
Time for fun, Will Robinson!
LiquiGlide Will Be Everywhere
'They poured the remnants of eggs out of their frictionless cups...'
US Customs Now Doing Facial Recognition At DC Airport
Are you who you say you are?
How Many Systems In That Galactic Empire Now?
'An Empire to twenty million stellar systems...'
Petman Robot Pushes Itself To The Limit
'There was the butler robot, hard at work, his copper face expressionless...'
Coleus LED 'Skylight' Dispenses Natural Sunlight Indoors
'How do they work it so that the sky is visible at every level of the city?'
UR3 Robot At Work On Copies Of Itself
'I don't mean that you should construct this ultra-microrobot with your own fingers, of course...'
3D Printing 'Terminator T-1000-Style'
Not quite 'a mimetic polyalloy...'
Bridge-MINDER Repair Robot
'The repair robots had started out on their rounds...'
Super Ball Bot Tensegrity Robot For Solar System Exploration
'Each leg in turn acted as a pivot around which the creature whirled its body...'
Norlin Shoe Drone Robot UAV In-Store Delivery Thing
'Robot-salesmen were everywhere, gesturing, pleading, shrilling.'
iSkin On-Body Touch Sensors
'Three rows of four colored dots appeared on the heel of my left hand.'
Britain To Build Spaceport, First In Europe
'The space-ports at the three great cities...'
MC10 Electronics Skin Stickers
'Every diaper... a fine copper wire…'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories