We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
Detecto

Download Mobile App




Events

ATTENTION: Due to the COVID-19 PANDEMIC, many events are being rescheduled for a later date, converted into virtual venues, or altogether cancelled. Please check with the event organizer or website prior to planning for any forthcoming event.

Soft Robotic System Can Grow Like Plants to Allow Surgical Access to Hard-To-Reach Areas

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 04 Oct 2022
Print article
Image: Engineers have developed a process that enables soft robots to grow like plants (Photo courtesy of University of Minnesota)
Image: Engineers have developed a process that enables soft robots to grow like plants (Photo courtesy of University of Minnesota)

Soft robotics is an emerging field where robots are made of soft, pliable materials as opposed to rigid ones. Soft growing robots can create new material and “grow” as they move. These machines could be used for operations in remote areas where humans can’t go, such as inspecting or installing tubes underground or navigating inside the human body for biomedical applications. Current soft growing robots drag a trail of solid material behind them and can use heat and/or pressure to transform that material into a more permanent structure, much like how a 3D printer is fed solid filament to produce its shaped product. However, the trail of solid material gets more difficult to pull around bends and turns, making it hard for the robots to navigate terrain with obstacles or winding paths. Scientists have now developed a first-of-its-kind, plant-inspired extrusion process that enables synthetic material growth. The new approach will allow researchers to build better soft robots that can navigate hard-to-reach places, complicated terrain and potentially areas within the human body.

An interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN, USA) developed the new means of extrusion, a process where material is pushed through an opening to create a specific shape. Using this new process allows the robot to create its synthetic material from a liquid instead of a solid. The researchers were inspired by how plants and fungi grow. Plants use water to transport the building blocks that get transformed into solid roots as the plant grows outward.

The researchers were able to mimic this process with synthetic material using a technique called photopolymerization, which uses light to transform liquid monomers into a solid material. Using this technology, the soft robot can more easily navigate obstacles and winding paths without having to drag any solid material behind it. This new process also has applications in manufacturing. Since the researchers’ technique only uses liquid and light, operations that use heat, pressure and expensive machinery to create and shape materials might not be needed.

“We were really inspired by how plants and fungi grow,” said Matthew Hausladen, first author of the paper and a Ph.D. candidate in the College of Science and Engineering. “We took the idea that plants and fungi add material at the end of their bodies, either at their root tips or at their new shoots, and we translated that to an engineering system.”

Related Links:
University of Minnesota 

BMP Whole Blood Analyzer: GEM Premier ChemSTAT
Gold Supplier
Infectious Diseases Controls
Multichem ID-SeroNeg
New
Pre-Eclampsia Screening Assay
B•R•A•H•M•S sFlt-1 KRYPTOR
New
Serratia Marcescens Test
CHROMagar Serratia

Print article
Radcal

Channels

AI

view channel
Image: AI transforms smartwatch ECG signals into a diagnostic tool for heart failure (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

AI-Based Smartwatch Accurately Detects Heart Failure Using ECG Signals

People with a weak heart pump might not have symptoms, but this common form of heart disease affects about 2% of the population and 9% of people over 60. When the heart cannot pump enough oxygen-rich blood,... Read more

Critical Care

view channel
Image: PATHFAST is a compact immunoanalyzer with superior assay performance (Photo courtesy of PHC Europe)

Benchtop Immunoanalyzer Delivers Lab Quality Results for Cardiology, Intensive Care and Emergency Wards at POC

A compact immunoanalyzer with superior assay performance combines the accuracy of a full-scale lab analyzer with the flexibility of a mobile solution, making it an ideal analysis system for laboratories,... Read more

Patient Care

view channel
Image: The digital stretcher scales are designed specifically for emergent situations in hospitals and emergency rooms (Photo courtesy of DETECTO)

Portable High-Capacity Digital Stretcher Scales Provide Precision Weighing for Patients in ER

For emergency arrivals into a hospital, time is of the essence for gathering patient weights. Now, digital stretcher scales specifically designed for emergent situations in hospitals and emergency rooms... Read more

Health IT

view channel
Image: Using digital data can improve health outcomes (Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Electronic Health Records May Be Key to Improving Patient Care, Study Finds

When a patient gets transferred from a hospital to a nearby specialist or rehabilitation facility, it is often difficult for personnel at the new facility to access the patient’s electronic health records... Read more

Business

view channel
Image: The global visualization instruments for MIS market is estimated to surpass USD 21 billion by 2031 (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Global Visualization Instruments for MIS Market Driven by Increasing Demand for Endoscopy Procedures

The last few years have witnessed an increase in patient preference for medical surgeries that involve fewer incisions. As a result, the demand for visualization instruments, which aid in achieving improved... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2022 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.