Cell-Size Robots for Minimally Invasive Targeted Therapies

BM Monday Seminar

  • Date: Nov 16, 2020
  • Time: 13:00 - 14:00
  • Speaker: Dr. Hakan Ceylan
  • Host: Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Deartment of Biomaterials
Cell-Size Robots for Minimally Invasive Targeted Therapies
Untethered mobile robots the size of a single human cell can make a disruptive impact in medicine. Their small size and wireless mobility can enable access and navigation in small, confined, hard-to-reach, and sensitive inner body sites, such as the central nervous system, the circulatory system, and the fetus.

Untethered mobile robots the size of a single human cell can make a disruptive impact in medicine. Their small size and wireless mobility can enable access and navigation in small, confined, hard-to-reach, and sensitive inner body sites, such as the central nervous system, the circulatory system, and the fetus. At these locations, such tiny machines can provide new ways of minimally invasive surgical interventions, remain inside for long durations as semi-implantable devices, and deliver targeted diagnosis and therapy with high precision and repeatability. To achieve these goals, however, there are several scientific and technical grand challenges to overcome. In this talk, I will address some of these grand challenges around design, fabrication and control of cell-sized mobile robots for medical applications. I will demonstrate integrated sensing, response and motion, the pillars of a robotic system, using out-of-the-box new materials and fabrication strategies at the microscopic size scales. I will explore alternative power sources and design principles that would realistically sustain robotic operations. I will demonstrate medical microrobots with the capabilities of moving around, sensing, responding to the local pathological information, and performing specific diagnostic and therapeutic tasks in orderly executed physical algorithms using their smart composite material architectures. Upon completing their functions, most of the microrobots I have developed are enzymatically degradable at the physiological conditions. Given the progress and the status of this emerging field, I will finally be providing a translational perspective on medical microrobotics research with an application-oriented, integrative design approach where powering, materials, fabrication, control, localization and medical functionalities need to be considered altogether at the same time. I will discuss the complexity of the challenges ahead and the potential directions to overcome them.

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