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Thursday, 14 April 2011

Tiny robot operates inside your eye

April 14, 2011

The researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology are developing an innovative method for the future of non-invasive retinal surgery.

This is done by injecting nano-robots from a syringe into your eyes without the use anesthetic.  These robots could transport drugs to the exact location were it is required or may even carry out minor operations.  Basically, the device is a small magnet which is controlled by an external electromagnetic field. Brad Nelson, professor of robotics and intelligent systems says, "It requires that we very precisely control the fields and the currents through our electromagnets and being able to do that and do that in a stable, controlled fashion has been a challenge."

The experiments have all been conducted on the eyes of dead animals however, they have plans to move onto living animal trials, followed by human trials.  In 1966, the science-fiction film Fantastic Voyage saw a submarine miniaturized and injected into a person's bloodstream. Forty-five years later, the idea does not seem as far fetched as once thought.


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