Challenges and Opportunities for Micro and Nano Robotics in Biomedicine

Bradley Nelson
Bradley Nelson
ETH Zurich, Switzerlan
December 6, 2012, 15:10 ~ 15:50

Abstract :

The futuristic vision ofmicro and nanorobotics is of intelligent machines that navigate throughout our bodies searching for and destroying disease, but we have a long way to go to get there. Progress is being made, though, and the past decade has seen impressive advances in the fabrication, powering, and control of tiny motile devices. Much of our work focuses on creating systems for controlling micro and nanorobots in liquid as well as pursuing applications of these devices. Larger scale microrobots for delivering drugs to the retina to treat eye diseases such as age related macular degeneration and retinal vein and artery occlusion are moving towards clinical trials. As size decreases to the nanoscale, we havebeen inspired by motile bacteria, such as E. coli, and have developed nanorobots that swim with a similar technique. Applications we pursue at these scales are for the treatment of breast cancer and cerebral infarctions.


Research Area :



Honors and Awards :

  • United States “Scientific American 50” Award
  • United States “McKnight Presidential Fellows Award”
  • Fellow of the IEEE and the ASME
  • Member of the Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation


Professional Career(highlight) :

  • 2002-present: Professor: ETH
  • 1998 – 2002: Associate Professor, University of Minnesota
  • 1995 – 1998: Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • 2002: ETH IRIS (Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems) Founding Director (2002)