The problem with open brain surgery are the risks involved in cutting someone’s head open and leaving the brain exposed. However, it is sometimes necessary to deal with certain health issues. However, over at MIT, engineers have managed to create a thread-like robot that is apparently thin enough where it could traverse through the patient’s blood vessels.
What this means is that instead of having to turn to the likes of open brain surgery, this robot could be used in its place where it can help deliver drugs to treat strokes or brain aneurysms. It can also be controlled remotely which means that surgeons might not even need to be in the same room or even the same hospital to operate it.
This opens up all kinds of possibilities, like being able to operate on patients in more rural regions, for example. The robot is made using nickel-titanium alloy, giving it the ability to be bendy and springy, thus allowing it to navigate the network of blood vessels. It is also coated in a rubbery paste with magnetic particles and then coated with hydrogel, making it smooth and friction-free.
In addition to being able to benefit patients, it also benefits surgeons. This is because a fluoroscope and X-rays to image the patient’s blood vessels. The fact that a wire needs to be carefully and manually inserted into a patient means it is a taxing process and with surgeons being repeatedly exposed to the radiation from the fluoroscope. However, with this robot, it solves some of those problems.
At the moment the robot isn’t ready for clinical use just yet, so we probably won’t see it being used in any operations anytime soon.