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A tentacle robot will move around inside your lungs and look for cancerous tumors

The new robot, developed at the University of Leeds, is shaped like a tentacle or worm that can be pointed into the lungs to inspect suspicious lesions or deliver drugs.
The tentacle-inspired robot was conceived to empower the so-called bronchoscope, a tube-like medical instrument used to examine the lungs and airways. Doctors will insert it through the nose and mouth into the bronchial passages and then guide a thinner 2mm catheter through the inside of it and deeper into the airways.

But this approach has limitations in maneuverability that leaves some places out of reach, so scientists at the University of Leeds have created a robot made up of connected cylindrical segments made of soft elastomer and equipped with tiny magnetic particles.

This means that under the influence of a magnetic field, individual segments can move independently of each other, making the robot very flexible and able to work its way through the twists and turns of the lungs. In a clinical setting, preoperative scanning will allow physicians to chart a route through a patient’s unique lung structures.

A tentacle robot will move around inside your lungs and look for cancerous tumors

The technology is still many years away from being used in hospitals, but scientists believe its accuracy and autonomy will make it much more efficient to inspect injuries, take tissue samples, or deliver anti-cancer drugs to hard-to-reach places.
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