Robotic snake can detect lung cancer. This is developed by researchers from the United Kingdom who, thanks to this project, intend to reach places that are difficult to explore using technologies known to date. The tool can improve the detection and treatment of lung cancer and other lung diseases. In an article published in Soft Robotics last week, scientists at the University of Leeds unveiled their new “magnetic robot sensors”, which consist of magnetic discs and are about 2 mm thick.
Robotic snake searches for tumors
In the future, the use of the robot could be expanded to help doctors examine other organs, such as the heart, kidneys or pancreas. It’s annoying,” said Pietro Valdastri, principal investigator on the project and head of robotics and autonomous systems at the University of Leeds, in an interview with The Washington Post. “But my goal is to find a way to get as deep as possible inside the human body in the least invasive way.” The robot is still between 5 and 10 years old before it can be used in the clinic, but the device comes on the heels of a fleet of other robotic innovations that allow doctors to better examine a patient’s lungs for cancerous tissue.
Advantages over a bronchoscope
Doctors now use a medical device called a bronchoscope to examine patients’ lungs and airways. They are typically 3.5 to 4 millimeters in diameter and twice as wide as the snake-shaped robot. The width and stiffness of the bronchoscope limits doctors’ ability to burrow deep into a patient’s lungs in search of cancer or other problem tissue. Parts of the lungs have not been examined, and they likely contain cancerous cells.
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