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
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC

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.

Single-Actuator System Allows Sensor-Free Precision Control of Miniature Surgical Instruments

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 24 May 2022
Print article
Image: Novel miniature microelectromechanical devices could find medical applications (Photo courtesy of KAUST)
Image: Novel miniature microelectromechanical devices could find medical applications (Photo courtesy of KAUST)

Positioning miniature microelectromechanical devices in medical applications traditionally relies on a combination of actuators that cause movement and sensors that detect position. Now, the ability to precisely control the position and movement of miniature devices is being taken into new territory with scientists developing tinier and simpler devices without a single sensor. The prototype devices also use a single actuator rather than the several usually required. Having a single actuator enabled the researchers to reduce the size of their devices and also reduce the complexity of the electronics and power supply.

The devices developed by scientists at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST; Thuwal, Saudi Arabia) are fabricated from a wafer of silicon on an insulator, with final dimensions of 2 by 2.5 millimeters width and just 0.4 millimeters thick. The simplicity of the design in being constructed from a single wafer of material is another significant innovation: alternative devices generally require several distinct parts. The scientists developed and tested several versions of their devices and were pleased with the promising results.

They demonstrated that applying a suitable voltage can switch the mobile section through a series of fixed positions a mere 10 micrometers apart. This would carry whatever component was being positioned in a real-world application. A row of serrated catches and grippers on either side of the moving part holds it in stable positions without the need for any sensors. Changing the voltage can return the system to its original configuration.

The scientists believe that the performance demonstrated by their prototypes could one day be used to precisely control miniature surgical instruments, allowing extremely fine techniques not currently possible. Or it might be used to deliver drugs at very precise locations and times. They hope it might also find applications in many areas of industry where miniaturization and microdevices are taking technology to ever lower scales.

“The devices can be implemented in very narrow spaces without adding the congestion that might be involved using alternative methods,” said Hossein Fariborzi, professor of electrical engineering. “Because of the simple design and control, we can remove direct electrical connections and enable remote activation and thereby greatly increase the flexibility of this microsystem for use in various applications.”

“Our novel approach gets rid of sensors,” explained postdoc Hussein Hussein. “The basic design could be easily adjusted to fit any application and put it into practice.”

Related Links:
KAUST 


Print article
Radcal

Channels

AI

view channel
Image: ‘Hologram patients’ developed to help train doctors and nurses (Photo courtesy of University of Cambridge)

Life-Like Hologram Patients Train Doctors for Real-Time Decision Making in Emergencies

A medical training project using 'mixed reality' technology aims to make consistent, high-level and relevant clinical training more accessible across the world. University of Cambridge (Cambridge, UK)... Read more

Critical Care

view channel
Image: New device could provide alternative to opioids and other highly addictive drugs (Photo courtesy of Northwestern University)

Dissolving Implantable Device Can Manage Post-Operative Pain Without Drugs

Researchers have developed a small, soft, flexible implant that relieves pain on demand without the use of drugs. The first-of-its-kind device could provide a much-needed alternative to opioids and other... Read more

Patient Care

view channel
Image: The biomolecular film can be picked up with tweezers and placed onto a wound (Photo courtesy of TUM)

Biomolecular Wound Healing Film Adheres to Sensitive Tissue and Releases Active Ingredients

Conventional bandages may be very effective for treating smaller skin abrasions, but things get more difficult when it comes to soft-tissue injuries such as on the tongue or on sensitive surfaces like... Read more

Health IT

view channel
Image: AI can reveal a patient`s heart health (Photo courtesy of Mayo Clinic)

AI Trained for Specific Vocal Biomarkers Could Accurately Predict Coronary Artery Disease

Earlier studies have examined the use of voice analysis for identifying voice markers associated with coronary artery disease (CAD) and heart failure. Other research groups have explored the use of similar... Read more

Business

view channel
Image: Expanding the role of autonomous robots can mitigate the shortage of physicians (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Robot-Assisted Surgical Devices Market Driven by Increased Demand for Patient-Specific Surgeries

An aging population and accompanying retirements will cause a significant physician shortfall of 55,000 to 150,000 by 2030, creating a gap in the healthcare system. Expanding the role of autonomous robots... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2022 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.