Swarming self-adhesive microgels enabled aneurysm on-demand embolization in physiological blood flow

Sci Adv. 2023 May 12;9(19):eadf9278. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.adf9278. Epub 2023 May 12.


The recent rise of swarming microrobotics offers great promise in the revolution of minimally invasive embolization procedure for treating aneurysm. However, targeted embolization treatment of aneurysm using microrobots has significant challenges in the delivery capability and filling controllability. Here, we develop an interventional catheterization-integrated swarming microrobotic platform for aneurysm on-demand embolization in physiological blood flow. A pH-responsive self-healing hydrogel doped with magnetic and imaging agents is developed as the embolic microgels, which enables long-term self-adhesion under biological condition in a controllable manner. The embolization strategy is initiated by catheter-assisted deployment of swarming microgels, followed by the application of external magnetic field for targeted aggregation of microrobots into aneurysm sac under the real-time guidance of ultrasound and fluoroscopy imaging. Mild acidic stimulus is applied to trigger the welding of microgels with satisfactory bio-/hemocompatibility and physical stability and realize complete embolization. Our work presents a promising connection between the design and control of microrobotic swarms toward practical applications in dynamic environments.

PMID:37172097 | PMC:PMC10181194 | DOI:10.1126/sciadv.adf9278


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