Stanford engineers develop body implanted nanobots powered by ultrasound waves
Since the exponential rise in the levels of modern medical technology, we have always craved for nano medical devices that run in our blood stream and heal at the first sign of any illness or some major disease. Efforts have been made to develop such prototypes, but the main problem is how to power these tiny little healers. Making use of wires or batteries makes them too big and clumsy to handle, in a way rendering them practically useless when it comes to real life situations. To change this a research team headed by Amin Arbabian (assistant professor of electrical engineering at Stanford University) has developed a way to transfer power wirelessly to any such smart chips.
The chip has a piezoelectric material which produces the needed electric power when ultrasound waves are fired at it. This unique power delivery system is quite safe since ultrasound waves are used in numerous other medical procedures too.
To do this they fire ultrasound at these tiny devices and then converts the incoming sound waves into electricity, processes them and executes the medical commands. Thereafter the medical procedure being followed is relayed back using a tiny built-in radio antenna.
The working prototype of this wireless medical implant system was presented at the IEEE Custom Integrated Circuits Conference in San Jose. The current prototype is equivalent to the size of a ballpoint pen head and the next step is to make it ten times smaller which can be used in deep implants to carry out various tasks.