Nanomedicine, Volume I: Basic Capabilities

© 1999 Robert A. Freitas Jr. All Rights Reserved.

Robert A. Freitas Jr., Nanomedicine, Volume I: Basic Capabilities, Landes Bioscience, Georgetown, TX, 1999 Inchworm Locomotion

Another ambulatory strategy that has been investigated for medical robots is inchworm locomotion.1632,3086 In this mode, the tail end of a flexible tubular nanodevice is anchored. The front end extends in the desired direction across the cell surface by pushing against the anchor. Once fully extended, the front end sets anchor. The rear end unlocks, slides itself forward toward the front anchor across the cell surface, then resets in preparation for the next cycle. Inchworm mobility may be particularly applicable to environments with extremely rough, uneven terrain.3083 A related strategy is "Slinky" locomotion,3084,3085 which is similar to the inchworm except that each end temporarily loses contact with the cell surface while it is extending or retracting by pushing or pulling against the anchor point.


Last updated on 21 February 2003