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Top Story

MRI-powered mini-robots could offer targeted treatments

Invasive surgical techniques--cutting through the breastbone for open-heart surgery or making a large incision to inspect an abdominal tumor--allow physicians to effectively treat disease but can lead to sometimes-serious complications and dramatically slow healing for the patient. Scientists instead want to deploy dozens, or even thousands of tiny robots to travel the body’s venous system as they deliver drugs or a self-assembled interventional tool. Researchers from the University of Houston and Houston Methodist Hospital are developing control algorithms, imaging technology, ultrafast computational methods and human-machine immersion methods to harness the force from a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner to both image and steer millimeter-sized robots through the body.

Visit Website | Image credit: University of Houston