MIT engineers have developed
a thread-like robot that can actively glide through
narrow, winding pathways, such as the vasculature
of the brain. This magnetically-controlled
device is a hydrogel-coated
robotic thread or guide wire that could be used to
deliver clot-reducing therapies and other treatments in response
to certain brain blockages, such as stroke or aneurysms. To clear blood
clots in the brain, doctors often perform a
minimally invasive surgery in which a surgeon inserts a
thin wire through a patient’s main artery typically
in the leg or groin, then manually
manipulate the wire up to the damaged brain vessel. These medical guide wires
used in such procedures are passive and require
surgeons specifically trained in the task. They are also made of a core
of metallic alloys coated in polymer, a material
that the researchers say could potentially generate
friction and damage vessel linings if the wire
were to get stuck in a particularly tight space. To help improve such
endovascular procedures, the MIT engineers
combined their work in hydrogels and
magnetic actuation to produce a
magnetically steerable hydrogel-coated
robotic thread, which they were able to
make thin enough to guide through a life-sized
silicone replica of the brain’s blood vessels. The core of the
robotic thread is made from nickel titanium
alloy, a material that is both bendy and springy. The team then 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 previously developed
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 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-sized 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
vessel’s winding narrow paths. The researchers say the robotic
thread can be functionalized, meaning that features can be
added, for example, to deliver clot-reducing drugs or to break
up blockages with laser light. Their hope is to soon leverage
existing technologies to test the robotic thread in vivo. [MUSIC PLAYING]

100 thoughts on “Robo-thread

  1. Oh my God.
    No, they're not doung this to make a robot be able to go thru our veins, no…
    They're making hentai monsters…

  2. hasnt this been out for years and years–originally was going to be a synthetic muscle for fake body parts and full body armor suits?

  3. And of course robots will be holding the magnets soon for precise guidance. Surgery bill will be $10 million please. Thank you come again.

  4. 10 mins before I stumbled apon this video I just so happen to find this while researching MIT for colleges. Google is watching me.

  5. I'll gladly be a test subject, I recently had a pulmonary embolism and would like to breath normally again, I'm 21 and life sucks even more now.

  6. My father die from a brain aneurysm…he passed away on my 12th birthday. I really hope they succeed in their research in this technology. because a child deserves to have both parents in their lives and not have their birthday as a grim and painful reminder.

  7. #WormAssassin: If it's DARPA funded, this will be turned into an assassination weapon worm: puncture heart, clog it, implode inside brains, etc. Once its job is done, it'll simply crawl to the nearest drain and no one will know what happened or who did it.

  8. If they hit another weakened blood vessel on the way to the aneurysm, they'll cause ,more bleeding in the brain… that was NOT a very precise movement! It would have scraped along the sides of the blood vessel in some parts, almost slammed into others… they think this is safe for the brain? FUCK NO!! Watch the thing, it was in some sort of glass or plastic tunnel…. blood vessels aren't hard and cannot take such sharp movement…. this is NOT precise enough to get near the brain! And the blood vessels in the brain will be MUCH MUCH SMALLER than the model they were working with…. they cannot get it through the bigger model without hitting and scraping the sides, I cannot imagine this being safe for life-sized obviously VERY SMALL blood vessels….

  9. I got blood drawn once and they took too much. I fainted and since then my fear of needles has been really bad. This. This is like needle fear but on steroids because now the needle can move

  10. Just imagine this thing crawling into your brain, right behind your eye. Nice
    Then imagine what kind of pain can make you ask for doing such invasion.

  11. Who tf thought running a wire through an artery is a great idea to treat a stroke. Surely there must be a better way.

  12. An enormous advance, shortly if it is less than the diameter of a single hair, can cure many things in the vital organs.
    "un avance enorme, dentro de poco si es inferior al diametro de un solo pelo, podra curar muchas cosas en los organos vitales."

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