Researchers at South Korea's Hanyang University recently demonstrated that a miniature robot could travel autonomously to a superficial femoral artery in a pig, deliver contrast dye, and return safely to the extraction point.
This could pave the way for the use of robots to treat occlusive vascular disease in humans and eliminate the need for X-ray imaging to guide surgical equipment.
The researchers developed the I-RAMAN (robotically assisted magnetic navigation system for endovascular intervention) robot, which can navigate a patient's blood vessels autonomously using a three-dimensional map generated from two-dimensional X-ray images.
The robot is injected into a blood vessel via catheter, then an external magnetic field untethers the robot from the catheter and guides it to the treatment area and back.
From IEEE Spectrum
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