Advancements, developments for higher quality of healthcare, which includes use of available resources is a continual endeavor of the medical community worldwide, and harnessing hydrokinetic energy to provide medical treatment is an example of this. A team of two researchers have harnessed hydrokinetic energy to insert an instrument in the human body without the need to use invasive methods.
“Anatomically, large sections of the brain remain inaccessible. This is because the tools currently available are hefty, and examining the tiny, complex cerebral vascular system without causing tissue damage is difficult,” stated one of the researchers.
Although advanced, limitations of current technique spawns newer one
In the current scenario, doctors access patients’ arteries by inserting and rotating guidewires, and subsequently slipping hollow tubes called catheters. However, if narrowing of arteries happens, especially in the brain, this advanced technique has its limitations.
To find a solution for this, scientists at MicroBioRobotic Systems Laboratory, EPFL along with researchers from another research group have fabricated tethered microscopic devices. The feature of this device is it could be introduced into capillaries with unparalleled speed and ease.
“The technology is not intended to stop the use of conventional catheters, but to elevate their use,” said one of the researchers.
Physically, the devices comprise a magnetic tip and an ultraflexible body fabricated of biocompatible polymers. The action of a fishhook when gradually released into a river, and carried along by the current is an analogy to understand the functioning of the device. This means the device is held at one end and the blood does the dragging to the most peripheral tissues. To facilitate this, the device is gently rotated at the magnetic tip of the device at bifurcations to choose a specific path, added the researcher.