The first endovascular technology that can explore capillaries

An ultraflexible endovascular flow sensor that is guided using magnetic fields. © Alain Herzog / 2020 EPFL

(Valérie Geneux/ EPFL News) — EPFL scientists have invented a technique to navigate electronic devices that are smaller than human hair inside blood vessels and reach arterioles. The next step will be conducting in vivo tests.

The cardiovascular system is astonishing. It uses the blood that circulates in our veins and arteries to transport oxygen and nutrients to every tissue in the body.

At EPFL, Lucio Pancaldi, a PhD student, and Selman Sakar, an assistant professor, have decided to harness hydrokinetic energy (mechanical energy resulting from the motion of liquids) to get to places in the human body without resorting to invasive methods.

“Large proportions of the brain remain inaccessible because the existing tools are unwieldy, and exploring the tiny, intricate cerebral vascular system without causing tissue damage is extremely difficult” says Sakar. (…)

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