Soft robots combine origami to deliver medical treatments

September 21, 2020

(NanoWork News) Researchers have found a way to send small and soft robots to humans, opening the door to invasive surgery and finding ways to treat conditions ranging from colon cancer to gastric cancer to aortic artery obstruction.

Researchers from Ohio State University and the Georgia Institute of Technology explained their findings in a study published using the ancient Japanese method of origami. Procedures of the National Academy of Sciences (“Unrestricted Control of Functional Origami Microbots with Distributed Acquisition”).

In this system, doctors will use magnetic fields to guide the soft robot inside the body and bring drugs or treatments where needed, said Renee Shaw, an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering in the state of Ohio.

?? The robot looks like a small actuator, ?? Shao said, ?? But because we can apply magnetic fields, it can send to the body without tether, so it is wireless. It makes it much more aggressive than our current technologies. ??

That soft robot is made of a magnetic polymer, a soft compound embedded with remotely controlled magnetic particles. Robotic delivery of medical care is not a new concept, but most of the previous designs used traditional robots.

?? Soft ?? The component of this robot is crucial, Shao said.

?? In biomedical engineering, we need as little things as possible, and we don’t want to build motors, controllers, tethers, and the like, ?? She said. ?? One of the advantages of this material is that we do not need any of these to send to the body and get it to where it needs to go. ??

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The soft origami robot in this case can be used to deliver multiple treatments based on the freely controlled folding and deployment of origami units. Origami material ?? Lets open. When it reaches the site, the treatment is loosened and the treatment is applied to the desired area of ​​the body.

Delivery of origami-style drugs is not new, but those deliveries were often slower than previous designs, which were more difficult and relied on ways to activate or open the origami to deliver the drug. Some did not allow the drug to reach the exact location of the body.

Shao said the soft robot removes bulkness. The magnetic fields allowed the researchers in the lab to control the direction, intensity, and velocity of the bending and alignment of the material.

The researchers did this in a lab, not in a human body. But they believe the technology will allow doctors to control the robot from outside the body using only magnetic fields.

?? In this design, we don’t even need a chip, we don’t need an electrical circuit, ?? She said. ?? By applying an external field, can the material respond to itself ?? It does not require a wired connection. ??

Raymond Allen Jones, co-author of the paper and professor at the Georgia Tex School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, said the findings could have applications beyond drug delivery.

?? We hope that the reported magnetic origami system, including future origami-inspired robots, morphing mechanisms, biomedical devices, and space structures, will be applied beyond the scope of this work. Paulino said.

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