Nanorobotic Systems That Penetrate Tissues & Organ Phantoms For Surgery

We are pleased to announce Professor Peer Fischer is one of the featured speakers of the Hamlyn Symposium on Medical Robotics 2021 (#HSMR21).

Professor Fischer will give a talk on ‘Nanorobotic systems that penetrate tissues & organ phantoms for surgery’ followed by a Q&A session.



Micro-/nano-robots hold great potential in biomedical applications. It has been shown that untethered magnetic screw-shape drills can penetrate elastic tissue, such as bovine muscle, when they are large with a typical diameter of several millimeters and a length of several centimeters. For much more minimally-invasive procedures, it is beneficial to dramatically reduce the diameter, but this also reduces the available force. However, recently we could show that sub-micron scale-drills experience less resistance due to the porosity in biological tissues.

We have realized nanopropellers that, if functionalized with enzymes soften mucine, and if coated with an anti-adhesion layer they can propel through the vitreous of the eye. They can also be steered to a small region at the optic disc of the retina. This is an important first step to realize targeted delivery in denser tissues. Developing new micro and nanosystems for medical applications brings me to the challenge one encounters when testing new medical devices and procedures: The absence of realistic models. We have developed a full urinary tract phantom that shows high fidelity in medical imaging and that allows transurethral resection of the prostate or suturing by laparoscopy. The phantoms are ideal for the development and evaluation of robotic surgery systems (and surgeons), while ensuring the correct contrast in typical imaging modalities.


Prof. Peer Fischer directs the Micro Nano and Molecular Systems Lab at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, and he is a Professor at the Institute of Physical Chemistry, Univ. of Stuttgart.

He received a BSc. degree in Physics from Imperial College London and a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. He was a NATO Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University, and a Rowland Fellow at Harvard where he headed an interdisciplinary research lab for five years. Peer Fischer won a Fraunhofer Attract Award, two European Union ERC Grants, and a World Technology Award. He is a member of the Max Planck – EPFL Center for Molecular Nanoscience and Technology, and the research network on Learning Systems with ETH Zurich. Prof. Fischer is an Editorial Board Member of the journal Science Robotics and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He has broad research interests including 3d nanofabrication & assembly, micro- and nano-robotics, active matter, interaction of optical, electric, magnetic, and acoustic fields with matter at small length scales, chirality, molecular systems engineering, and biomedical applications.

The event is finished.


Jul 14 2021


10:00 am - 10:45 am

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