New therapies on the horizon. Sending miniature robots deep into the human body is a vision straight from the animated series "Once upon a life". It may soon materialize thanks to the efforts of the Californian start-up Bionaut Labs. Microrobots seem to be the future of medicine because they can reach even the most inaccessible places of our body. In this way, cysts, clots or even neoplastic tissues can be removed.
Bionaut Labs representatives intend to conduct clinical trials on humans using innovative miniature robots. Their characteristic feature is that they do not have their own drive and are guided through the body by an external magnetic field.
Michael Shpigelmacher, CEO of Bionaut Labs, said:
The idea of microrobots was born long before I was born. One of the most famous examples is the book by Isaac Asimov and the movie "Fantastic Journey" in which a crew of scientists travels to the brain in a miniaturized spacecraft to heal a blood clot.
Thanks to the advances in medicine, this idea could get beyond the scope of SF. Thanks to the cooperation with the Max Planck Institute, engineers from Bionaut Labs have developed an innovative way to power microrobots using an external magnetic field. Such a solution was chosen because it is indifferent to the human body.
Thanks to the external magnetic coils connected to the computer, the microrobot introduced into the body can be easily manipulated. It is removed in the same way. The apparatus is small and uses up to 100 times less electricity than an MRI instrument.
Over the next two years, clinical trials are expected to take place in which a microrobot will be used to puncture a fluid-filled cyst in the brain. If the process proves successful, it could be used to treat Dandy-Walker Syndrome. It is a rare brain defect that occurs in children. Patients have golf ball-sized cysts that swell and increase intracranial pressure, causing a range of neurological disorders.
If proven successful, robots can prove to be an extremely valuable ally in combating various brain disorders. Michael Shpigelmacher said:
Today, most brain operations and interventions are limited to straight lines - if you don't have a straight line to your destination, you'll get stuck, you won't get there. Microrobotic technology makes it possible to reach goals that could not be reached before and repeatedly reach them along the safest possible trajectory.
Bionaut Labs wants to use the new technology to treat Parkinson's disease, epilepsy and strokes.