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Worm inspires 'comfortable' test

Geoff Read gread at actrix.gen.nz
Thu Dec 30 14:27:00 EST 2004

>   *From BBC news
> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4083557.stm

Here is a bit more background from the Uni of Bath site:

 Together with the MiTech Lab of the Scuola Superiore, Sant' Anna 
(Pisa), the Centro "E. Piaggio", Faculty of Engineering, University of 
Pisa (Italy), the Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas 
(Greece) and the Section for Minimally Invasive Surgery, University of 
Tübingen (Germany), we are developing BIOmimetic structures for 
LOComotion in the Human body.  The objectives of the study (Funded 
under the EU Framework 5) are to understand the locomotion and 
sensory systems of lower animals such as parasites, worms and insects 
which can burrow and navigate through the substrate (e.g. worms living 
in mud) and to design and make micro-machines which can navigate 
through the human body.  The idea originates from the medical need to 
develop more powerful tools for microendoscopy, one of the most 
challenging frontiers of modern medicine.  We have a prototype traction 
unit based for its design on the ragworm (Nereis) and are currently 
miniaturising it, describing it mathematically and applying the model 
results to understanding the locomotion of the living worm. [Julian 
Vincent, John Williams, Thomas Hesselberg]."

Of course Prof R. B. Clark and others did nereidid locomotion analyses 
back in the 1970s, and there are papers earlier still.

   Geoff Read <gread at actrix.gen.nz>

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