Jan 15, 2018

Robots heal injured pig oesaphagus

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, robotics/AI, wearables

In the process outlined in the paper, a robotic implant about ten centimetres long is attached to the outside of the organ with two steel ‘O’ rings fixed around the tubular sections of the oesophagus. The unit containing the motor, sensors and electronics is sheathed in a biocompatible waterproof skin and connected by cable to a wearable control unit outside the body, and mechanostimulation encourages cell growth in the area between the rings.

The results were encouraging. Over nine days the implant extended the test pigs’ oesophageal length by 77% between the two rings, not by stretching the organ but by stimulating cellular growth within it. During this period the organ also experienced normal blood flow and functionality.

It sounds like something out of Star Trek, but an international team report success with a cell-regenerating robot implant. Andrew P Street reports.

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