Microbots to Assist in Micro Surgery on Eyes

The latest in eye treatment is a miniature robot that could be steered through the eye and supply medicines or perform a micro surgery.


This technology would in the very near future be available for the public, due to the efforts of Michael Kummer and his team who work at the Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems (IRIS). Kummer is a mechanical engineer from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) and his specialty is thermodynamics and robotics in emerging technologies.

North Carolina State University researchers had made microbots, which could take u turns in a fluid on command, while another group had created a robot, which could clear blood clots inside the eye’s blood vessels. Kummer has utilized this technology and developed it further. His research is in the precision control of microbots making use of magnetic fields.

The miniature robots are inserted into the eye through a needle. These robots are controlled electromagnetically, to remove the necessity of an onboard fuel. The team has hopes that the small robots would treat the macular degeneration by injecting the drugs in a slow manner over a period of several months. Thus far, the robots have only been tried on the eyes of dead pigs, and plans are on to try them on living animals. Hopefully, these robots would not only cure macular degeneration but also assist in many more eye surgeries and problems. In the future, the robots could even be used on other parts of the body such as eliminating a blood clot, which is embedded deep in the heart.

Source: http://www.iris.ethz.ch/


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