Israelis Develop Tiny Needle-Driving Robot

Researchers from Haifa’s Technion University have developed a miniature robot that can navigate a flexible needle in the human body.

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, | updated: 20:54

The new needle will allow a surgeon to bypass obstacles in the needle's path and safely reach its objective within the body.

"We are talking about driving a flexible needle," says doctoral student Daniel Glozman. He developed the steering algorithm under the guidance of Prof. Moshe Shoham of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Technion.

"For example, when a physician wants to take a biopsy, he sticks the needle into the body and extracts the biopsy,” Glozman said. “But the skin, the muscle and the patient himself move during the process and therefore it is difficult to get the needle exactly to the target. There may also be blood vessels in the way that have to be maneuvered around. Our development will solve these problems."

Prof. Shoham said the development is in line with the trends of medical technology. "Medicine is going to be much more focused and the demand to reach the target exactly will only increase," he said. "Therefore, we developed this robot that works according to a mathematical model, using sensors. The robot holds and moves the base of the needle, causing it to wind around the obstacle and reach the target determined by the physician."

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