ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research

ARTORG Seminars 2023

2023/08/23 | Events | Robotics

Seminar "A Roadmap to Translational Microrobots in Medicine: Ultrasound Technology"

Sixth ARTORG Seminar organized by the Urogenital Engineering lab with Prof. Dr. Daniel Ahmed, ETH Zurich

When: 23 August 2023, 12.00-13.00h
Where: Murtenstrasse 24, EG050

Wireless microrobots can unlock new and exciting possibilities in targeted and precise drug or gene delivery, application of forces on specific cells or tissues, performing biopsies, and facilitating non-invasive surgery. Ultrasound emerges as an exciting modality for controlling micro and nanorobots, owing to its ability to penetrate deep into the tissue, remain unaffected by the opaque nature of animal bodies, and generate a wide spectrum of forces. In this presentation, I will talk about ultrasound-based micromachines and microrobotics systems that are currently under development at the Acoustic Robotics Systems Lab (ARSL) at ETH Zurich, their many challenges in vivo, and their prospective applications in the field of medicine.

My research goes beyond theoretical realms and delves into practical applications, with a strong focus on translational ultrasound microrobotics. In this talk, I will discuss some of the discoveries I have made in the robotics domain. I will highlight the development of in vivo acoustic microrobot systems designed for precise manipulation within the vasculatures of animal models (zebrafish and mice). My group has achieved a remarkable milestone by demonstrating the precise manipulation of ultrasound-driven microrobots within the vasculature of the mouse brain. This cutting-edge technology opens up new possibilities for addressing neurological conditions and diseases with greater precision and efficacy. These ambitious endeavours hold promise for tackling critical medical challenges related to glioblastoma, aneurysms, strokes, Alzheimer's, and other brain diseases. 


Daniel Ahmed is an Assistant Professor of Acoustic Robotics in the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering at ETH Zurich. Currently, he leads the Acoustic Robotic Systems Lab (ARSL), located in the Binnig and Rohrer Nanotechnology Center, and is engaged in pioneering ultrasound robotics for use in life science applications, diagnostics, and translational medicine. Daniel holds Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral degrees in Engineering Science and Mechanics from Pennsylvania State University (U.S.).

He has published 39 peer reviewed journal articles, including articles in Nature Communication (9) and further articles in Nature Machine Intelligence, Science Advances, Science Robotics, Nano Letters, Advanced Materials, Advanced Functional Materials, Lab on a Chip, and Analytical Chemistry. In 2020, he was awarded an ERC Starting Grant on Acousto-Magnetic Micro/Nanorobots for Biomedical Applications (SONOBOTS); he has also been awarded multiple grants, such as an ETH Zürich Career Seed Grant, SNSF, and an ETH Internal Grant. He was selected as one of ten winners of the Falling Walls Science Breakthrough of the Year 2021 in Engineering and Technology. Daniel actively engages in patenting numerous discoveries stemming from his research endeavors, with the intention of creating spinoff ventures. Recently, Daniel has been nominated for the Dandelion Entrepreneurship Awards at ETH Zurich.