outer spaceOne of the biggest problems with catheters is that they get clogged with biomaterial after a time, requiring intervention to replace the catheter.

Researchers at Purdue University are looking at a way to use a magnetically-powered device to clear implanted drainage catheters.

They have been able to place a device inside the lumen of a catheter and to energize it with an external magnetic source, causing the device to oscillate to the extent that it can clear material that has built up in the lumen.

Using magnetics to noninvasively power and to guide devices placed inside the body is a relatively new approach that is being explored for various applications in medicine. Our growing capability to miniaturize devices using micro-machining and nano technology will open new avenues for the innovative application of remote power and guidance systems of all kinds.

Our exploration of outer space became the catalyst for radical invention and innovation. Our exploration of inner space has the same potential.