Advanced methods for clearing blood clots using mechanical thrombectomy devices and untethered microrobots
Thrombosis is the obstruction of blood flow inside a blood vessel due to the formation of a blood clot. The movement of this blood clot through the human circulatory system to the brain or lungs can cause serious cardiovascular diseases, such as myocardial infarctions and ischemic strokes. Cardiovascular diseases are among the leading causes of death and long-term disability worldwide. Traditional treatment of clogged blood vessels depends on chemical lysis therapy with anticoagulants, either by systemic infusion into the circulatory system or by catheter-directed thrombolysis. Thrombolysis can also be assisted or accelerated by thermal and acoustic energy. Further, mechanical thrombectomy devices have been presented for capture and removal of blood clots to restore the flow inside occluded blood vessels. A minimally-invasive potential approach for the treatment of occluded blood vessels could be achieved by untethered microrobotic systems designed for intravascular therapy. Traditional treatment for flow restoration inside clogged vessels have been limited to the administration of a thrombolytic drug, infused over an hour into the systemic circulation. Research studies have investigated combined techniques to extend the treatment window and efficiency of thrombolytic therapy. In addition to other approaches such as ultrasound-accelerated thrombolysis and laser-assisted thrombolysis.