Preliminary study of an intestinal bio-robot system based on nerve stimulation
1 Key Laboratory of Biorheological Science and Technology of Ministry of Education, College of Bioengineering of Chongqing University, Chongqing, 400044, PR China
2 Key Laboratories for National Defense Science and Technology of Innovative Micro/Nano Devices and System Technology, Chongqing University, Chongqing, 400044, PR China
Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 2012, 9:68 doi:10.1186/1743-0003-9-68Published: 29 September 2012
Wireless capsule endoscopes for diagnosis and treatment in the gastrointestinal tract face the common problem of active actuation. To tackle this difficulty, a non-invasive intestinal bio-robot system with active actuation based on nerve stimulation was developed.
This intestinal inspection system utilized a natural organism—the mud eel—to serve as the locomotion mechanism, and it was controlled by a LabVIEW-programmed pulse generator. The exterior control unit was able to actively drive and remotely control the navigation and site-specific anchoring of the organism.
Through in vitro stimulation experiments, a method of controlling the organism’s forward motion was obtained: when the organism was stimulated at the tail, it moved forward at a relatively fast speed and with high repeatability. The stimulator parameters were as follows: amplitude 1.85 μA, frequency 2 Hz, pulse duration 500 μs.
Since this is a preliminary study, considerable work remains to be done. However, the results could provide a solid theoretical basis for further research toward producing a practical intestinal bio-robot for the diagnosis and treatment of the gastrointestinal tract.