A team of Australian researchers has created a micro size motor that can be driven through the arteries of the brain to treat strokes and aneurisms.

The motor is about the size of a grain of salt and is said to have the equivalent power of a small kitchen appliance, according to Australia’s ABC newspaper.

It is invisible to the naked eye.

Associate Professor Bernard Yan of the Royal Melbourne Hospital’s neuro-intervention service said that it is a new hope as the micro-motor could be used to treat strokes and aneurisms.

“At this stage we are targeting the arteries of the brain,” he said.

“But of course there is no reason why this cannot be applied to other parts of the body such as the heart, kidneys or other organ systems,” he added.

The project is collaboration between the RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) University and the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

It was developed by the senior research fellows at the RMIT University - Professor James Friend, fellow RMIT University Professor Leslie Yeo and Associate Professor Yan.

Prof Yan said that there is a drastic need to improve surgical equipment used to treat stroke victims.

He added that the device will be particularly helpful for surgeons treating older patients.

“Arteries undergo wear and tear over time. So with the younger patients, the 20-year-olds, their arteries are fairly straight and easy to get to,” he said.

“(But) for example in the 80-year-olds, the arteries are as windy as the Great Ocean Road.”

“It provides two components. It provides more power to enable the catheter to get to where we want it to get to, but it allows us manoeuvrability,” he explained.

The motor is currently undergoing intense laboratory testing.

(This article was published on July 24, 2012)
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