Medical Microbots Used to Perform Biopsy

Hessel Hoogerhuis
June 6th 2015

When acquiring tissue samples for medical diagnosis, doctors have been confined to bulky and invasive instruments. Unlike the scientists in the 1966  sci-film film Fantastic Voyage, we haven’t been able to shrink a submarine and its human crew in order to let them perform some delicate surgery inside the patient body.

But with recent successful experiments, we may see doctors switching from the single forceps to hordes of so-called microgrippers.

These metal discs, each of which measures just 300 micrometers, are designed to snip small bits inside the body and to be easily retrieved by a doctor.

These sorts of developments could help extend two current trends in medicine: diagnosing diseases earlier and targeting therapies more precisely, as Bradley Nelson,  professor of robotics and intelligent systems at ETH Zurich, explained. “The dream is the Fantastic Voyage”  he added.

The realization of that dream will probably take some time, but the microgrippers are certainly an interesting small step in that direction.


Via Spectrum

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Should men be able to give birth to children?


Koert van Mensvoort: Is the artificial womb frankenstein-like symbol of (male) engineers trying to steal the magical womb from women? Or… is it a feminist project and needed to reach through equality between the sexes? I personally lean towards the latter. To me it feels like progress if a girl can tell a guy to carry the womb for a change.

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