12 November 2012

Robotic pill to revolutionise cancer treatment?

A tiny robotic pill that could deliver medicine to hard to reach areas inside the body is being developed by researchers in the UK.

The novel device, which measures just 30 x 11mm, comes equipped with a miniature video camera positioned at the tip, a remote controlled 'anchor' and a miniature repositionable syringe.

As the pill makes its way through the body and reaches a tumour, the anchor is deployed from its casing. A tiny needle stored inside the casing can then be positioned and injected near the tumour to deliver a 1ml dose of medication. The on-board camera relays all the necessary information back to the surgeon in real time.

The area the researchers want to target specifically is the small intestine, a place notoriously hard to reach. The team believes the on-board syringe could enable chemotherapy medicine to be targeted more precisely, reducing the number of invasive procedures needed to remove tumours in patients.

While hospitals across the UK currently use robotic pill technology as a diagnostic tool, the Imperial researchers claim their pill is the only one that can deliver treatments as well.

Dr Tim Constandinou, from the Winston Wong Centre for Bio Inspired Technology and the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Imperial, said: "We are developing a robotic pill that has the potential to deliver treatments directly to tumours or ulcers in the small intestine.

"We are still a long way off from delivering this technology to the hospital bedside, but we hope it could one day improve outcomes for patients undergoing treatments."

The team is hoping to have a working prototype ready within six months. The device will then be tested over a two year period in animal models to gauge its effectiveness, which could lead to clinical trials.

Author
Laura Hopperton

Supporting Information

Websites
http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/

Companies
Imperial College London

This material is protected by Findlay Media copyright
See Terms and Conditions.
One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not.
For multiple copies contact the sales team.

Do you have any comments about this article?


Add your comments

Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Your comments/feedback may be edited prior to publishing. Not all entries will be published.
Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Related Articles

X-ray detector on plastic

Researchers from Holst Centre and imec have demonstrated the first ever X-ray ...

Sensor market back on track

Emerging markets such as the Internet of Things, wearable electronics and the ...

Electronics dissolve on cue

Researchers at Iowa State University are the latest to shift their focus to the ...

Smart pump for the heart

Around 160,000 people in the EU require heart transplants every year. About 600 ...

Wearable electronics

Problems with the heart can be relatively common but, because they can present ...

Zeno robot smiles back

The autistic spectrum is sometimes, mistakenly, thought of as a gauge on which ...

Using Linux in medical devices

This whitepaper explores the issues that software developers and medical device ...

Adapting to the extremes of rugged design

Ruggedisation and reliability are key requirements for a wide range of embedded ...

The real solution to fake parts

The high tech supply chain is more vulnerable to counterfeit components than ...

High CV X5R MLCC series

AVX has added new capacitance values to its high CV X5R MLCC series for mobile, ...

Modular power supplies

While engineers are increasingly looking to simplify power design, often by ...

Audio receivers from Molex

A new family of balanced armature audio receivers has been introduced by Molex.

Future World Symposium 2014

29th - 30th April 2014, Twickenham Stadium, London

BEEAs 2013

9th October 2014, 8 Northumberland, London

Engineering Materials Live!

22nd-23rd October 2014, Jaguar Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, UK

Self-destructing electronics

Researchers at Iowa State University have created transient electronics that ...

DLP 0.45 WXGA chipset

Learn all about the features and benefits available to developers with the DLP ...

Electronics Design Show 2013

Take a look at some of the highlights from the 2013 Electronics Design Show and ...

Cutting the mustard

In the past ten days, three clients have presented their new designs (an ...

Bionic lenses and rabbits

A Terminator style bionic contact lens has been developed by researchers in a ...

Bullish optoelectronic market

When New Electronics reported the growth of the optoelectronic market in June ...

Gregg Lowe, Freescale

Freescale's new ceo tells Graham Pitcher that, while he's not 'dancing' yet, ...

Rick Clemmer, ceo, NXP

Rick Clemmer believes high performance mixed signal is just one of the sectors ...

Henri Richard, Freescale

Freescale's chief sales and marketing officer tells Graham Pitcher that he's ...