from the September 2007 issue

Technion develops world's smallest medical robot

Israeli scientists at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa have created a tiny robot which can enter a patient's bloodstream and deliver medical treatment.

The world's smallest robot, with a diameter of one millimeter, was created by Oded Solomon of the mechanical engineering department at the Technion, who teamed up with Dr. Nir Schwalb of the Judea and Samaria College in Ariel.

The robot has the unique ability to "crawl" through the inner walls of blood vessels using tiny arms which allows it to withstand blood pressure in order to progress through veins and arteries. The robot is powered by an external magnetic field allowing it to be controlled for an unlimited amount of time during medical procedures.

Although in its beginning stages, possible application could be used for brachytherapy (short distance radiation therapy) which is commonly used to treat prostate cancer and cancers of the head and neck.

Oded Solomon commented "This accomplishment of miniaturization is without precedent, as is the ability to control the robot's activity for unlimited periods of time, for any medical procedure. We hope this discovery can be used to improve the quality of care for diseases and many other conditions".

Reprinted from the Israel High-Tech & Investment Report September 2007

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