Israeli company Microbot has developed medical robots for cleaning drainage pipes in the body.
By: Michael Ordman
Microbot develops miniature robots. The companies first app is for cleaning drainage pipes in the body, for example in the urethra or the brain, thereby removing the necessity for surgery to replace them. The miniature robot functions in the same way as a robot that cleans swimming pools or homes. It is made of titanium, and has arms that move around it. It can be controlled from outside the body and directed within the urethra, so that accumulations of dirt are released, and can be swept out of the drain.
In the future, the product is likely to also prove suitable for cleaning plaque from blood vessels in order to prevent heart attacks and stroke and obviate the need for a balloon or stent. More remote apps include a robot with a camera for taking photographs within the body (like Given Imaging’s camera pill, but with the added capability of controlling the location and camera angle) and release of a drug in a specific place.
Microbot also has a technology combining a robot with balloons that can be inflated in a manner that creates an empty pipe space. Surgical tools can be passed through this space, such as a catheterization wire, without risking damage to the sides of the artery.