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Micro-robot that can clear arteries

January 16, 2008
clipped from www.telegraph.co.uk

A microscopic robot small enough to travel through blood vessels has been built by scientists.

Less than a millimetre in size, the robot walks like a crab on six legs and has been designed to clear blocked arteries.

A microscopic robot small enough to travel through blood vessels has been built by scientists.

Less than a millimetre in size, the robot walks like a crab on six legs and has been designed to clear blocked arteries.

It was produced by researchers at Chonnam National University in Korea, who found the robot was able to travel 55 yards in a week.

Once inside a blocked artery, it is able to release drugs to dissolve blood clots, which are often the cause of heart attacks.

By attaching grafted heart muscle to the legs, the scientists found the legs would bend as the muscle cells contracted. The cells get their energy from sugar in the patient’s blood.

That means the robot does not need an external power supply, which are often heavy and cumbersome, if not impractical.

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