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 hp
Sign In
Advertise with Us

Download Mobile App


31 Jul 2024 - 02 Aug 2024
02 Aug 2024 - 04 Aug 2024
20 Aug 2024 - 22 Aug 2024

Soft Robots with Electronic Skins and Artificial Muscles to Provide Medical Treatment

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 12 Jun 2024
Print article
Image: An image of skin-inspired sensory robot (Photo courtesy of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Image: An image of skin-inspired sensory robot (Photo courtesy of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Researchers have developed advanced soft robots that are equipped with electronic skins and artificial muscles, enabling them to detect their environment and modify their actions in real time.

These robots were designed by a team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC, USA) to mimic the cooperative function of muscles and skin in animals, enhancing their efficiency and safety for internal use in the human body. The electronic skin of these robots incorporates a variety of sensing materials such as silver nanowires and conductive polymers embedded in a flexible substrate, mirroring the intricate sensory capabilities of natural skin. Capable of executing complex movements like bending, stretching, and twisting within biological settings, these soft robots are designed to attach smoothly to tissues, minimizing stress and potential harm. Drawing inspiration from natural forms such as starfish and seedpods, they can alter their structures to efficiently carry out diverse tasks. Such versatility makes these sensory soft robots highly adaptable and beneficial for advancing medical diagnostics and therapies. They can morph to conform to organs for improved sensing and treatment, perform ongoing monitoring of internal states such as bladder volume and blood pressure, deliver treatments like electrical stimulation based on live feedback, and be ingested to monitor and treat stomach-related issues.

A particular type of ingestible robot, known as a thera-gripper, is designed to stay in the stomach to monitor pH levels and administer medication over prolonged periods, thus enhancing treatment for gastrointestinal disorders. It can also attach to the heart, continuously tracking electrophysiological signals, measuring heart contractions, and providing electrical impulses to help maintain proper heart rhythm. Experiments conducted on mice have proven the thera-gripper’s effectiveness in fulfilling these roles, indicating its potential as an advanced cardiac implant. Additionally, a robotic gripper that can encircle a bladder can assess its volume and deliver electrical pulses to address overactivity, improving both patient care and treatment results. A robotic cuff that wraps around a blood vessel can measure blood pressure accurately and in real time, serving as a non-invasive and precise monitoring tool. The success of these robots in live animal tests points to a bright future for their application in medical settings, potentially transforming the management of chronic conditions and enhancing patient care.

“This innovative approach to robot design not only broadens the scope of medical devices but also highlights the potential for future advancements in the synergistic interaction between soft implantable robots and biological tissues,” said Wubin Bai, the principal investigator of the research and an APS assistant professor. “We’re aiming for long-term biocompatibility and stability in dynamic physiological environments.”

Related Links:
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hil

Gold Member
Disposable Protective Suit For Medical Use
Disposable Protective Suit For Medical Use
Gold Member
SARS‑CoV‑2/Flu A/Flu B/RSV Sample-To-Answer Test
SARS‑CoV‑2/Flu A/Flu B/RSV Cartridge (CE-IVD)
Silver Member
Wireless Mobile ECG Recorder
1.5T Superconducting MRI System
uMR 680

Print article


Surgical Techniques

view channel
Image: ImmersiveAR is an FDA-510(k) cleared augmented reality (AR) software (Photo courtesy of 123RF)

Breakthrough AR Surgical System Brings Precision-Enhanced Visualization into the OR

State-of-the-art mixed reality and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are revolutionizing the field of surgery. Now, a groundbreaking augmented reality (AR) technology platform enables surgeons... Read more

Patient Care

view channel
Image: The portable, handheld BeamClean technology inactivates pathogens on commonly touched surfaces in seconds (Photo courtesy of Freestyle Partners)

First-Of-Its-Kind Portable Germicidal Light Technology Disinfects High-Touch Clinical Surfaces in Seconds

Reducing healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) remains a pressing issue within global healthcare systems. In the United States alone, 1.7 million patients contract HAIs annually, leading to approximately... Read more

Health IT

view channel
Image: First ever institution-specific model provides significant performance advantage over current population-derived models (Photo courtesy of Mount Sinai)

Machine Learning Model Improves Mortality Risk Prediction for Cardiac Surgery Patients

Machine learning algorithms have been deployed to create predictive models in various medical fields, with some demonstrating improved outcomes compared to their standard-of-care counterparts.... Read more

Point of Care

view channel
Image: POCT offers cost-effective, accessible, and immediate diagnostic solutions (Photo courtesy of Flinders University)

POCT for Infectious Diseases Delivers Laboratory Equivalent Pathology Results

On-site pathology tests for infectious diseases in rural and remote locations can achieve the same level of reliability and accuracy as those conducted in hospital laboratories, a recent study suggests.... Read more


view channel
Image: The finalists have been announced for the IHF Awards 2024 (Photo courtesy of IHF)

International Hospital Federation Awards 2024 Finalists Announced

The International Hospital Federation (IHF; Geneva, Switzerland) has announced the finalists of the IHF Awards 2024 after the judges completed scoring entries in all 7 Award categories. The IHF Awards... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2024 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.