Scientific Talks

Metin Sitti

Director, Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems


10:40am EDT / 4.40pm CEST

Presentation: Wireless Miniature Medical Robots for Neurological Applications

Abstract: Wireless miniature medical robots have the unique capability of navigating, operating and staying inside risky and currently hard- or impossible-to-reach small spaces inside the human body, such as brain. To treat neurological disorders minimally invasively inside brain, wireless milli- or microscale robots can stimulate neurons and have other medical functions locally on demand. In this direction, magnetopiezoelectric nanoparticles are injected next to the sub-thalamus region for treating the Parkinson’s disease via wireless deep brain neural stimulation. Alternating external magnetic fields induce local charges to stimulate the neighboring neurons. Neural stimulation results are demonstrated in in-vitro and in-vivo rat preliminary tests. Next, a wireless magnetic milliscale robot is designed to penetrate and navigate through brain tissue using external magnetic forces under x-ray fluoroscopy imaging inside a porcine brain tissue ex vivo. Finally, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners can be used to image, track and actuate wireless magnetic millirobots inside brain. Preliminary MRI-powered robot navigation and remote heating-based medical functions are demonstrated in synthetic mockups. Such wireless millirobots would be used in future neurological stimulation/recording and brain cancer treatment applications.

Biography: Metin Sitti is the director of Physical Intelligence Department at Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany. He is also a honorary professor at Univ. of Stuttgart, professor at ETH Zurich and professor at Koc University. He was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University (2002-2014) and a research scientist at UC Berkeley (1999-2002) in USA. He received BSc and MSc degrees (1994) in electrical and electronics engineering and physics from Boğaziçi University, Turkey, and PhD degree in electrical engineering from University of Tokyo, Japan (1999). His research interests include physical intelligence, small-scale mobile robotics, bio-inspiration, and wireless medical devices. He is an IEEE Fellow. As selected awards, he received the Breakthrough of the Year Award in the Falling Walls World Science Summit 2020, ERC Advanced Grant in 2019, Rahmi Koç Science Medal in 2018, SPIE Nanoengineering Pioneer Award in 2011, and NSF CAREER Award in 2005. He received over 15 best paper and video awards in major conferences, including the Best Paper Award in the Robotics Science & Systems Conference in 2019. He is the editor-in-chief of Progress in Biomedical Engineering and Journal of Micro-Bio Robotics and associate editor in Science Advances and Extreme Mechanics Letters journals.

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