Medical Design Briefs - July 2023 - 23

n New Class of
Microrobots Could
Travel in the Body
A team of engineers has
designed a new class of tiny,
self-propelled robots that
can zip through liquid at inn
Deployable Electrodes
for Minimally Invasive
Craniosurgery
credible speeds - and may one day even deliver prescription
drugs to hard-to-reach places inside the human body.
The group's microrobots are really small. Each one measures
only 20 µm wide, several times smaller than the width of a human
hair. They're also really fast, capable of traveling at speeds
of about 3 mm per second, or roughly 9,000 times their own
length per minute. That's many times faster than a cheetah in
relative terms.
The group deployed fleets of these machines to transport
doses of dexamethasone, a common steroid medication, to
the bladders of lab mice. The results suggest that microrobots
may be a useful tool for treating bladder diseases and other
illnesses in people.
The team makes its microrobots out of materials called biocompatible
polymers using a technology similar to 3D printing.
The machines look a bit like small rockets and come complete
with three tiny fins. They also include a little something extra:
Each of the robots carries a small bubble of trapped air, similar
to what happens when you dunk a glass upside-down in water.
If you expose the machines to an acoustic field, like the kind
used in ultrasound, the bubbles will begin to vibrate wildly,
pushing water away and shooting the robots forward. (Image
credit: Shields Lab)
For more information, visit www.medicaldesignbriefs.com/
roundup/0723/microrobots.
n 3D Imaging Sensor
Offers High Angular
Resolution
A research team has developed
a 3D imaging sensor
that has an extremely high
angular resolution, which is
the capacity of an optical instrument
to distinguish points of an object separated by a small
angular distance, of 0.0018°. The innovative sensor operates on
a unique angle-to-color conversion principle, allowing it to detect
3D light fields across the x-ray to visible light spectrum.
Light-field sensing could also enable surgeons to accurately
image a patient's anatomy at varying depths, allowing them to
make more precise incisions and better assess a patient's risk
of injury.
At the core of the novel light-field sensor are inorganic perovskite
nanocrystals - compounds that have excellent optoelectronic
properties. Due to their controllable nanostructures, perovskite
nanocrystals are efficient light emitters, with an excitation
spectrum that spans x-rays to visible light. The interactions between
perovskite nanocrystals and light rays can also be tuned by
carefully altering their chemical properties or by introducing
small amounts of impurity atoms. (Image credit: National University
of Singapore)
For more information, visit www.medicaldesignbriefs.com/
roundup/0723/3D-imaging.
Medical Design Briefs, July 2023
Scientists have developed
electrode arrays that can be
funneled through a small
hole in the skull and deployed
over a relatively large surface
over the brain's cortex. The technology may be particularly useful
for providing minimally invasive solutions for epileptic patients.
The first prototype consists of an electrode array that fits
through a hole 2 cm in diameter, but when deployed, extends
across a surface that is 4 cm in diameter. It has six spiraled-shaped
arms, to maximize the surface area of the electrode array, and
thus the number of electrodes in contact with the cortex. Straight
arms result in uneven electrode distribution and less surface
area in contact with the brain.
Somewhat like a spiraled butterfly intricately squeezed inside
its cocoon before metamorphosis, the electrode array, complete
with its spiraled-arms, is neatly folded up inside a cylindrical
tube, i.e., the loader, ready for deployment through the small
hole in the skull.
Thanks to an everting actuation mechanism inspired from soft
robotics, each spiraled arm is gently deployed one at a time over
sensitive brain tissue. (Image credit: EPFL/Alain Herzog.)
For more information, visit www.medicaldesignbriefs.com/
roundup/0723/craniosurgery.
n Bioinspired Imaging
Sensor Advances FGS
There is a high risk of cancer
recurrence if even a small
number of cancerous cells
are left behind after surgical
resection. To prevent this, researchers
have developed fluorescence-guided surgery (FGS). In
FGS, patients are injected with a fluorescent probe that preferentially
binds to tumor cells, enabling surgeons to easily identify
lesions with the help of specialized endoscopes that emit the necessary
excitation light. A team has now reported a novel endoscopic
imaging system whose design could greatly accelerate the
adoption of multitracer FGS.
At the heart of this design lies an innovative hexachromatic
bioinspired imaging sensor (BIS), which the researchers modeled
based on the visual system of the mantis shrimp. The sensor
consists of three layers of vertically stacked photodetectors
covered with a checkerboard-like arrangement of two different
filters; one filters visible light and the other filters near-infrared
(NIR) light.
The result is a single-chip camera that can effectively capture
light on six different spectral channels, thereby making it capable
of detecting even the most subtle differences in fluorescence
emission from the tissue being imaged. To put its performance
into perspective, this BIS can differentiate fluorescent tracers
with emission peaks that are just 20 nm apart. This differentiation
is not possible with current clinically approved imaging instruments.
(Image credit: Credit: George et al., doi 10.1117/1.
JBO.28.5.056002)
For more information, visit www.medicaldesignbriefs.com/
roundup/0723/imaging-sensor.
www.medicaldesignbriefs.com
23
http://www.medicaldesignbriefs.com/roundup/0723/craniosurgery http://www.medicaldesignbriefs.com/roundup/0723/microrobots http://www.medicaldesignbriefs.com/roundup/0723/3D-imaging http://www.medicaldesignbriefs.com/roundup/0723/imaging-sensor http://www.medicaldesignbriefs.com

Medical Design Briefs - July 2023

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Medical Design Briefs - July 2023 - Cov1A
Medical Design Briefs - July 2023 - Cov1B
Medical Design Briefs - July 2023 - Cov1
Medical Design Briefs - July 2023 - Cov2
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Medical Design Briefs - July 2023 - Cov3
Medical Design Briefs - July 2023 - Cov4
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