An autonomous robot able to navigate inside the human heart offers a non-invasive way to repair leaky valves.
Developed by a team from Boston Children’s Hospital, the robotic catheter features an optical touch sensor powered by artificial intelligence and image processing algorithms that guide the device through the heart. According to senior investigator Pierre Dupont, PhD, the robot will use a ‘wall following’ navigational technique to determine “…what type of tissue it's touching, where it is in the heart, and how it should choose its next motion to get where we want it to go." Once the robot is in place, the surgeon can take over to remotely operate a tool on the device and seal the leak.
Image: A traditional catheter used to help plug a leak in an artificial heart valve
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