Written on Friday, January 26, 2007 by Gemini
Mithibai College (Mumbai) students design nano robot which dissolves clots or blockages in the heart; experts feel it will change the way heart blockages are treated
Angioplasty and bypass surgery may be things of the past if the nano-robotic project of a group of students from Mumbai's Mithibai College is clinically-tested and proved feasible. Senior scientists and cardio-vascular experts who have seen the project feel it is feasible and if tested successfully can change the way heart blockages are treated. However, some cardio-vascular experts feel the treatment would benefit only certain patients and not completely replace the traditional bypass surgery and angioplasty methods of treatment.
A computer-controlled bio-degradable nano-robot carrying chemicals is injected through the thigh. The nano-robot would then emit chemicals which would not only dissolve the clot but also remove any residual enzymes
The project shows how using nano-robotics a clot or blockage can be dissolved in a procedure that would take not more than three hours. A computer-controlled bio-degradable nano-robot carrying chemicals is injected through the thigh. The nano-robot would then emit chemicals which would not only dissolve the clot but also remove any residual enzymes. On completion of the procedure the nano-robot would selfdestruct or degrade and get discarded out of the system.
Dr Jyoti Kode, a scientist at the Advanced Centre for Treatment Research and Education for Cancer (ACTREC), who is working on stem cell research, said in her comments after viewing the project that “Nanorobotics is a wonderful project and can be developed further.” She advised the students to refer to Dr Sathe, an expert in nano-technology at Nehru Science Centre, to get his opinion on the same.
Referring to the idea behind the project, Ajay Chettariyil, one of the three students who made the project, said, “The idea germinated from the fact that such technology is already in use to treat cancer. Hence we proposed the idea to our department head who after weighing the possibilities gave us the go ahead.
“The concept is in its nascent stages and due to lack of adequate facilities and funds to test it in a laboratory we have not been able to test it clinically,” said Fatema Shaikh, another student. Dr Krutika Desai, a microbiology faculty who assisted the students in putting the project together, said, “The students have collected all the relevant material by poring through research journals and surfing internet sites which would help them understand the intricacies of the treatment. This has helped them explain the concept of nano-robotics to visitors at the science exhibition.”
Dr Khandebarker, head of cardio-vascular unit, Sion Hospital said, “It is a great concept and the students should meet the officials of the Institute of Research and Technology to further fund the research and to ensure that the concept is tested properly. If it is proved feasible then it would be a big leap in treating cardio-vascular problems.” He, however, added that if proved workable, nano-robotics would not replace bypass surgery and angioplasty as treatment differs from patient to patient.