Scientists Develop a Worm-like Device That Can Travel Through Your Brain

Posted by Mikey Smith

MIT engineers has developed a wormlike device that could radically improve treatments for strokes- which affects more than 100,000 people in the UK every year.

This tiny device has the capacity to wriggle its way through narrow, winding pathways, such as the labyrinthine vasculature of the brain. This is done with magnets which enables doctors to guide the device, rather than it being done directly by hand like most conventional clot-retrieval catheters.

Once the device is inserted either via the groin, or the patients neck, it is then travelled through to the brain to begin its work relieving blood clots by using beams of laser-lights or clot dissolving medications.

“It could markedly enhance access to clot-retrieval treatments, which at the moment are limited to comprehensive stroke centres,” said Ralph Sacco, chairman of neurology at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine and past-president of the American Heart Association. “It would be a quantum leap … in access to clot retrieval therapy.”

The device is smaller than traditional clot-retrieval catheters and is coated with reduction reducing gel around the flexible alloy wire, allowing it a smooth navigation and preventing any potential problems.

Scientists are hopeful that testing of the device on animals might begin within a year or two but it might take a decade or longer before the device is then used to treat humans.

The video below demonstrates how the device can navigate its way through maze like blood vessels: