Robotic thread is designed to slip through the brain’s blood vessels
Magnetically controlled device could deliver clot-reducing therapies in response to stroke or other brain blockages.
Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office
August 28, 2019
MIT engineers have developed a magnetically steerable, thread-like robot that can actively glide through narrow, winding pathways, such as the labrynthine vasculature of the brain.
In the future, this robotic thread may be paired with existing endovascular technologies, enabling doctors to remotely guide the robot through a patient’s brain vessels to quickly treat blockages and lesions, such as those that occur in aneurysms and stroke.
“Stroke is the number five cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States. If acute stroke can be treated within the first 90 minutes or so, patients’ survival rates could increase significantly,” says Xuanhe Zhao, associate professor of mechanical engineering and of civil and environmental engineering at MIT. “If we could design a device to reverse blood vessel blockage within this ‘golden hour,’ we could potentially avoid permanent brain damage. That’s our hope.”
Zhao and his team, including lead author Yoonho Kim, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, describe their soft robotic design today in the journal Science Robotics. The paper’s other co-authors are MIT graduate student German Alberto Parada and visiting student Shengduo Liu.
In a tight spot
To clear blood clots in the brain, doctors often perform an endovascular procedure, a minimally invasive surgery in which a surgeon inserts a thin wire through a patient’s main artery, usually in the leg or groin. Guided by a fluoroscope that simultaneously images the blood vessels using X-rays, the surgeon then manually rotates the wire up into the damaged brain vessel. A catheter can then be threaded up along the wire to deliver drugs or clot-retrieval devices to the affected region.
Kim says the procedure can be physically taxing, requiring surgeons, who must be specifically trained in the task, to endure repeated radiation exposure from fluoroscopy.
“It’s a demanding skill, and there are simply not enough surgeons for the patients, especially in suburban or rural areas,” Kim says.
The medical guidewires used in such procedures are passive, meaning they must be manipulated manually, and are typically made from a core of metallic alloys, coated in polymer, a material that Kim says could potentially generate friction and damage vessel linings if the wire were to get temporarily stuck in a particularly tight space.
The team realized that developments in their lab could help improve such endovascular procedures, both in the design of the guidewire and in reducing doctors’ exposure to any associated radiation.
Threading a needle
Over the past few years, the team has built up expertise in both hydrogels — biocompatible materials made mostly of water — and 3-D-printed magnetically-actuated materials that can be designed to crawl, jump, and even catch a ball, simply by following the direction of a magnet.
In this new paper, the researchers combined their work in hydrogels and in magnetic actuation, to produce a magnetically steerable, hydrogel-coated robotic thread, or guidewire, which they were able to make thin enough to magnetically guide through a life-size silicone replica of the brain’s blood vessels.
The core of the robotic thread is made from nickel-titanium alloy, or “nitinol,” a material that is both bendy and springy. Unlike a clothes hanger, which would retain its shape when bent, a nitinol wire would return to its original shape, giving it more flexibility in winding through tight, tortuous vessels. The team 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 developed previously, 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, much like the strings of a marionette, 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-size 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 vessels’ winding, narrow paths.
Kim says the robotic thread can be functionalized, meaning that features can be added — for example, to deliver clot-reducing drugs or break up blockages with laser light. To demonstrate the latter, the team replaced the thread’s nitinol core with an optical fiber and found that they could magnetically steer the robot and activate the laser once the robot reached a target region.
When the researchers ran comparisons between the robotic thread coated versus uncoated with hydrogel, they found that the hydrogel gave the thread a much-needed, slippery advantage, allowing it to glide through tighter spaces without getting stuck. In an endovascular surgery, this property would be key to preventing friction and injury to vessel linings as the thread works its way through.
“One of the challenges in surgery has been to be able to navigate through complicated blood vessels in the brain, which has a very small diameter, where commercial catheters can’t reach,” says Kyujin Cho, professor of mechanical engineering at Seoul National University. “This research has shown potential to overcome this challenge and enable surgical procedures in the brain without open surgery.”
And just how can this new robotic thread keep surgeons radiation-free? Kim says that a magnetically steerable guidewire does away with the necessity for surgeons to physically push a wire through a patient’s blood vessels. This means that doctors also wouldn’t have to be in close proximity to a patient, and more importantly, the radiation-generating fluoroscope.
In the near future, he envisions endovascular surgeries that incorporate existing magnetic technologies, such as pairs of large magnets, the directions of which doctors can manipulate from just outside the operating room, away from the fluoroscope imaging the patient’s brain, or even in an entirely different location.
“Existing platforms could apply magnetic field and do the fluoroscopy procedure at the same time to the patient, and the doctor could be in the other room, or even in a different city, controlling the magnetic field with a joystick,” Kim says. “Our hope is to leverage existing technologies to test our robotic thread in vivo in the next step.”
This research was funded, in part, by the Office of Naval Research, the MIT Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies, and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
— Read on news.mit.edu/2019/robot-brain-blood-vessels-0828
- Biotechnology and nanotechnology September 27, 2019
- Thousands in China Exposed to ‘Mind Control’ Technology Seek Answers September 24, 2019
- Detecting patients’ pain levels via their brain signals | MIT News September 18, 2019
- Living sensors at your fingertips | MIT News September 3, 2019
- Stretchy optical fibers for implanting in the body | MIT News September 3, 2019
- Engineers 3-D print a “living tattoo” | MIT News September 3, 2019
- Robotic thread is designed to slip through the brain’s blood vessels | MIT News September 3, 2019
- Synthetic biological organisms designed and created for industrial process using genetic engineering August 29, 2019
- MIT engineers build advanced microprocessor out of carbon nanotubes | MIT News August 29, 2019
- Information about through the wall radar, and active radio wave effects on the human body, various surveillance technologies used against unsuspecting humans August 23, 2019
- Human hair as a nanoreactor in the synthesis of gold (and other) nanoparticles August 23, 2019
- Colour-changing artificial ‘chameleon skin’ powered by light-triggered nanoparticles August 22, 2019
- Detection of neuronal activity using microwave energy August 17, 2019
- A poem. June 2, 2019
- History of Morgellons disease: from delusion to definition May 24, 2019
- (no title) May 19, 2019
- Limits of Human Perception July 24, 2017
- evidence for the apparent existence of Invisible Terrestrial Entities of the first kind (ITE-1) & Invisible Terrestrial Entities of the second kind (ITE-2) or bright ITE July 24, 2016
- Parallel universes are no longer a figment of our imagination July 23, 2016
- toxoplasmosis changes behavior of host July 17, 2016
- Optogenetics Resource Center July 17, 2016
- Magic mushrooms’ psychedelic ingredient could help treat people with severe depression July 17, 2016
- Researchers identify gatekeeper neurons that control pain and itch | Science | The Guardian July 17, 2016
- Bumblebee’s electric field sensor identified | Science | The Guardian July 17, 2016
- Presidential Commission: Directed Energy Weapons Used On American Citizens in Tests July 17, 2016
- A Note on Timothy Trespas, Gang Stalking and the Gospel, by Bridget Howe. From:FaithWriters.com-Christian Encouragement – July 17, 2016
- SURVIVAL, EVASION, RESISTANCE AND ESCAPE MULTI-SERVICE TACTICS, TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES July 1, 2016
- TARGETING, GANGSTALKING, MORGELLONS, REMOTE-NEURAL-MONITORING,VOICE-2-SKULL, COVERT DRUGGING, ENERGY BASED WEAPONS, ATTACKS WITH FLEAS, MITES, VIRUS, BACTERIA, NEMATODE, NANOBOTS, SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY, NANOTECHNOLOGY, MICROWAVE WEAPONS, TRASHING THE VICTIM,COVERT DRUGGING, FUNGUS, MOLD, ERGOT, LSD,DMT, MIND-FUKING THE VICTIM, ETC, ETC , June 2, 2016
- In sickness and in… Timothy Trespas suffers from targeting and torture. May 30, 2016
- NOAA SPACE GEOMAGNETIC WEATHER Weather Scales 04-11-11 May 11, 2016
- Practical Real Time Spectrum Analyzer Applications Part 1 — Basics Of Interference Hunting And Spectrum Monitoring | Signal Hound May 10, 2016
- EPIC Sensor – Plessey Semiconductors May 5, 2016
- Some peculiarities of auditory sensations evoked by pulsed microwave fields – Tyazhelov – 1979 – Radio Science – Wiley Online Library May 4, 2016
- SHIELDING? Get SHUNGITE mineral -STONE OF HEALTH! Neutralize high-frequency electromagnetic radiation & they reflect all possible magnetic fields January 5, 2016
- Everyday benefits of Shield January 4, 2016
- The Herxheimer Reaction December 20, 2015
- MAX, our FRIEND & CAT has DIED…. R.I.P. MAX – YouTube October 26, 2015
- Mycoplasma incognitus – MicrobeWiki October 18, 2015
- Nanotechnology and forensics: nano-powders that have been engineered to be used in conjunction with SALDI-TOF2-MS.(Surface-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (TOF)/reflectron (RTOF) mass spectrometry) August 1, 2015
- One paradigm is worth a thousand rules: How can we teach computers compassion (and stop humans from using them to hurt and kill!) ? Artificial Intelligence, Psychology, and theories of mind. August 1, 2015
- DSM-IV-TR: Diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia:- what the professional psychiatrists use to diagnose you as schizophrenic July 9, 2015
- amazing Nanotechnology – Images -materials science. Images can often convey information in a way that tables of data or equations cannot match May 26, 2015
- The 3D-architecture of individual free silver nanoparticles captured by X-ray scattering : Nature Communications : Nature Publishing Group May 26, 2015
- METALS IN MEDICINE AND THE ENVIRONMENT-Aluminum and Alzheimer’s Disease May 26, 2015
- FREQUENCIES! Sacred Harmonic Geometry – Understanding Resonance, Cymatics and the Chakras, May 26, 2015
- Know your target, know your molecule… May 26, 2015
- Living inside the body I call ‘me’… Thoughts on being who I am in a world containing 12 or so billion other human beings also experiencing life through their own eyes… May 18, 2015
- silver nanoparticles, light, color, and you. Nanotechnology: changing the world forever! May 11, 2015
- thoughts on our reality, constructs, and teh present situation. May 9, 2015
- Researchers succeed in light-controlled molecule switching May 3, 2015
- about electromagnetic torture, mind control, and remote neural monitoring by/in The U.S.A. – by TIMOTHYTRESPAS
- I an a victim of Covert Drugging with Millitary LSD like drugs… by TIMOTHY TRESPAS
- microbiology from inside my body, provided by slow-kill nanotechnology, weaponized biological attacks, synthetic biology, parasitology, human experimentation, microscopic investigation
- Trauma based Neuro-linquistic programming-How it works: a real life example from Timothy Trespas in New York City
- victim of extrajudicial covert human experimentation, torture, repeated drugging with military LSD like compounds, exposure to nanotechnology, foreign DNA implantation, remote neural monitoring, mind control, gang-stalking, gas-lighting, electrocution, poisoning, surveillance, and other human rights abuses by operatives and informants of the NEW SECRET POLICE. by Timothy Trespas
- Welcome to the 21st century- the NEW HOLOCAUST- how Mind Control, remote neural connectivity, artificial intelligence, the Military? & Government of the USA? o.k. the cooking of humans with Microwave directed energy weapons, and worse!
- What if? A theory on STRESS & ‘Targeting’
- 330 west 51st street nyc
- artificial intelligence
- brain mapping
- brain wave
- covert drugging
- genetic manipulation
- human experimentation
- microwave weapons
- mind control
- Mind Control is HERE NOW and being used on entire population in the USA and abroad. embedded microchip marking of all human assets via bio-nanotechnology is real, possible, and being done to us as we
- mk ultra
- new word order
- new world order
- no-touch torture
- petra schiller.
- quantum dots
- remote neural
- remote neural monitoring
- smart dust
- synthetic biology
- SYNTHETIC TELEPATHY
- targeted individual
- targeted individuals
- timothy trespas
- top secret