HealthTech Industry Update | Magnetically navigated robots to attack and remove blood clots

Kurt Neubauer

Kurt Neubauer

We already had article of our weekly updates covering the magnetically navigated robots in the
gastroenterological area, here the application for the cardiological domain, which is maybe even
more sensitive and nano like.

In a collaboration with Houston Methodist Hospital, researchers from the UH Engineering Robotic
Swarm Control Laboratory led by Aaron Becker, assistant professor of electrical and computer
engineering, are developing a novel treatment for pulmonary embolism (PE) using millimetre-scale
corkscrew shaped robots controlled by a magnetic field. PE is the third most common cardiovascular
disease, resulting in up to 300,000 deaths annually.

The project:

➡️️ The project introduces a novel non-invasive method of clot removal

➡️️ The idea involves using a magnetic field to wirelessly steer tiny (6 millimetres long with a
diameter of 2.5 mm), corkscrew-shaped robots through large arteries to break up blood clots in

➡️ Each robot – known as a miniature magnetic rotating swimmer (MMRS)

➡️️ Electromagnets placed around the patient generates a controlled rotating magnetic field that
causes the robot to spin

The advantage:

➡️ could improve patient comfort

➡️ reduce the risk of infection

➡️ ultimately decrease the cost of medical treatments

“Using non-invasive miniature magnetic agents could improve patient comfort, reduce the risk of
infection and ultimately decrease the cost of medical treatments,” according to Julien Leclerc, a
Cullen College research associate specialising in applied electromagnetics. “

My goal is to quickly bring this technology into the clinical realm and allow patients to benefit from this treatment method as
soon as possible.”

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