Wireless Tiny Medical Robots inside Our Body

09 Dec 2021, 18:00
Prof. Metin Sitti
Max Planck Institute

Abstract:  Wireless miniature medical robots have the unique capability of navigating, operating and staying inside hard- or impossible-to-reach tight spaces inside our body. This talk reports on various recent milli/microscale wireless miniature medical robots that could achieve various minimally invasive medical functions, such as targeted active drug delivery, neural stimulation, clot opening, liquid biopsy, tissue drilling, biofluid pumping, and hyperthermia. Due to miniaturization limitations on on-board actuation, powering, sensing, computing and communication, new methods need to be introduced in creating and controlling such robots. Moreover, they need to be tracked under medical imaging modalities, such as ultrasound, fluoroscopy, photoacoustic imaging and MRI, for their precise and safe operation and control. 3D microprinting-based fabrication methods and multifunctional soft composites are proposed to create novel medical milli/microrobots. External physical forces, such as magnetic fields, acoustic waves and light, are used to actuate and steer such tiny robots wirelessly as a single robot or robot collectives/swarms. These robots are aimed to save lives of more people by curing diseases not possible or hard to cure at the moment and decrease the side effects and invasiveness of disease treatments significantly in the future.


Biography: Metin Sitti is the director of Physical Intelligence Department at Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany. As side academic appointments, he is also a professor at ETH Zurich, Switzerland and Koc University, Turkey. He was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University (2002-2014) and a research scientist at UC Berkeley (1999-2002) in USA. He received BSc (1992) and MSc (1994) degrees in electrical and electronics engineering from Boğaziçi University, Turkey, and PhD degree in electrical engineering from University of Tokyo, Japan (1999). His research interests include small-scale mobile robotics, bio-inspiration, wireless medical devices, and physical intelligence. He is an IEEE Fellow.
He has supervised and mentored over 60 (25 current) PhD students and 60 (15 current) postdoctoral researchers. He has published over 320 journal articles and given over 200 invited keynote talks. He founded nanoGriptech Inc. to commercialize his lab’s gecko-inspired microfiber adhesive technology (branded as Setex®). As selected awards, he received the Breakthrough of the Year Award in the Falling Walls World Science Summit in 2020, ERC Advanced Grant in 2019, Rahmi Koç Science Medal in 2018, SPIE Nanoengineering Pioneer Award in 2011, and NSF CAREER Award in 2005. He received over 15 best paper and video awards in major conferences. He is the editor-in-chief of Progress in Biomedical Engineering and Journal of Micro-Bio Robotics and associate editor in Science Advances and Extreme Mechanics Letters journals.