Friday, December 23, 2011

Another Invention From Saudi Arabia

‘Fantastic Voyage’ through the digestive track
December 19, 2011 by Editor

Illustration of an endoscopic capsule, propelled by magnetic swimming tails (1). The capsule payload is a micro-camera (5) and tool for biopsy (4). The power source is non-magnetic batteries (2). There is also electronics for command and control and communication (7), an antenna (3) for the RF transceiver, and housing (8). (Credit: Gábor Kósa et al.)

In a scene out of the movie Fantastic Voyage, Dr. Gabor Kosa of Tel Aviv University has developed a wireless “capsule endoscope” that can be remotely steered through the digestive tract to detect problem like hidden tumors or wounds, or allow for treatments such as biopsies or local drug delivery.

However, rather than miniaturized people (the technology is not quite there yet), the device is remotely controlled by the magnetic field of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine and electronic signals.

To help the capsules “swim” (fish-like), flexible plastic “tails” about 20 mm long and 5 mm wide are vibrated by the magnetic field via copper coils, achieving a speed of several millimeters per second.

Electronics and microsensors embedded in the capsule allow the capsule’s operator to guide the movement of the device.

Ref.: Gábor Kósa, Péter Jakab, Gábor Székely and Nobuhiko Hata, MRI driven magnetic microswimmers, Biomedical Microdevices, 28 October 2011

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