Editorial Feature

High-Speed Rotational Robotics for the Treatment of Atherosclerosis

With atherosclerosis being the single biggest cause of death in the developed world, it poses a great strain on healthcare costs which is encouraging new ways to help treat this condition.

Boston Scientific, leading innovators in medical solutions have designed a new robotic tool for treating the calcified lesions found in the vascular smooth muscle cell layer of arterial blood vessels causing them to harden and narrow, restricting a normal rate of blood flow to respiring organs in the body.

The Rotablator® Rotational Atherectomy System developed by Boston Scientific treats these calcified lesions of the arterial wall.

This system also works with an adjunctive balloon angioplasty for patients that are considered for coronary artery bypass graft surgery.

This system is based on the principle that a high-speed rotating device abrades the calcified lesions of the plaque that forms in the coronary arterial wall, creating minute particulates that are, on average, 5 microns in size.

Removal of the particulates from the blood involves a reticuloendothelial system. It is important to understand that this device is designed to avoid cutting into the soft tissue supporting the plaque – a concept termed differential cutting.

Quite a remarkable device and with such high precision, this robotic system clearly demonstrates the advancement of automated technology to address the challenges that come with treating atherosclerosis.

Miniaturisation of medical robotics is becoming more pronounced in modern-day healthcare and surgical practices, and devices to treat conditions such as atherosclerosis are starting to make a significant contribution to this area of expertise.

For example, Nanobotmodels, a visualisation studio of prion propagation mechanisms, have created a sophisticated animation to represent the removal of atherosclerotic plaques from arteries using nanorobotics:

Video Credits: Nanobotmodels

This video is a great visual representation to show exactly how this technology works inside the body.

The introduction of this nanorobotic device for the treatment of atherosclerosis is likely to transform the world of medicine for many other hard-to-manage conditions with an effort to making treatment more precise and accurate, which could also make recovery time much quicker for patients.

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