Shape Memory Alloy Helical Microrobots with Transformable Capability towards Vascular Occlusion Treatment

Research (Wash D C). 2022 Jul 6;2022:9842752. doi: 10.34133/2022/9842752. eCollection 2022.


Practical implementation of minimally invasive biomedical applications has been a long-sought goal for microrobots. In this field, most previous studies only demonstrate microrobots with locomotion ability or performing a single task, unable to be functionalized effectively. Here, we propose a biocompatible shape memory alloy helical microrobot with regulative structure transformation, making it possible to adjust its motion behavior and mechanical properties precisely. Especially, towards vascular occlusion problem, these microrobots reveal a fundamental solution strategy in the mechanical capability using shape memory effect. Such shape-transformable microrobots can not only manipulate thrust and torque by structure to enhance the unclogging efficiency as a microdriller but also utilize the high work energy to apply the expandable helical tail as a self-propulsive stent. The strategy takes advantage of untethered manipulation to operate microsurgery without unnecessary damage. This study opens a route to functionalize microrobots via accurate tuning in structures, motions, and mechanical properties.

PMID:35928304 | PMC:PMC9297727 | DOI:10.34133/2022/9842752


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