Saturday, March 24, 2007
Mai Kaojie, U0307803@nus.edu.sg A new micro-bot, jointly created by Ritsumeikan University and the Shiga University of Medical Science in Japan, is believed to be the next weapon in the war against cancer. It is designed in the shape of a bug with just an inch long. With its small body dimension, it can be inserted easily through a small incision. The metal device is encased in plastic less than half an inch wide and protects the components while inside the body. This bug had a few amazing features. Firstly, it is able to capture images with a tiny camera which is mounted on its head. Secondly, it can deliver drugs through a special injecting device. Thirdly, it had tiny forceps for taking sample tissues. Future developments may enhance these forceps' capabilities to sever cancerous cell. Compare to radiotherapy which may damage the healthy cells while killing the cancerous cell, this method is safer because of its precision in removing cancerous cell. Last of all, the bug is connected to the computer by a cable. This cable relays data back and forth to the computer. The data could be in the form of images which is captured by the tiny camera or instructions to control the movements of the bug. In case the bug gets "lost" in its course, the cable acts as a "safety line". The future for these bugs could likely be in the battlefield. Small and versatile, they could be a great assistant to field medics. Such a day could be far, but often imagination from past science fiction is right here in our reality world. References: Daily mail, science and technology, "Robot that roams the body to seek and destroy cancer"