The next leap in medical science may have been inspired by the lowly maggot. But those disgusting little larvae may have the blueprint to removing brain tumours more effectively than our current methods.
The idea came from J. Marc Simard, a neurosurgery professor at the University of Maryland. Simard saw a show on T.V. where plastic surgeons used maggots to remove dead tissue from a patient. That’s where Simard got the idea for maggot-like robots that infiltrate the skull and rid the brain of tumours, according to CNET.
Simard cites a maggot’s size and ability to distinguish good and bad material as perfect traits for removers of brain tumours. But Simard went further than just releasing maggots into someone’s brain. After four years of development, Simard’s team has designed and tested a prototype robo-maggot.
The device is small and its tip contains a electrocautery tool that uses heat to destroy tumours. The robot also has a suction tube for removing the debris.
This new process reduces incision size and being able to perform surgery while the patient is undergoing an MRI makes seeing the brain a whole lot easier.
This seems like a great breakthrough, just don’t give these things to Khan.