Professor Sylvain Martel is at the cutting edge of nanotechnology, creating machines and robots with components the size of a nanometer - or one billionth of a meter. Working at the intersection of technology and medicine, Dr. Martel has created novel platforms for remote surgeries and cardiac mapping systems and has developed new types of brain implants that can decode neuronal activities. Dr. Martel’s research group is credited with the first demonstration of the controlled navigation of an untethered object in the blood vessel of a living animal. He leads a world-renowned interdisciplinary team pushing the boundaries of navigable therapeutic agents and interventional platforms for cancer therapy. Professor Martel is the Director of the NanoRobotics Laboratory at Polytechnique Montréal, holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Medical Nanorobotics, is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, Fellow of Engineers Canada as well as IEEE Fellow and is Chair of the IEEE Technical Committee on Micro-Nanorobotics and Automation.
Especially for treating cancer, therapeutic agents have evolved in complexity in an effort to enhance targeting efficacy. So far, efforts towards the synthesis alone of new therapeutics have attracted most attention. But present cancer treatments frequently fail because of severe side effects related to the fact that the drug accumulates in insufficient concentration at the tumor site while being distributed over healthy tissues and organs. Advanced engineering principles have been considered for the development of platforms and drug-loaded vehicles to deliver payloads to the area to be treated by navigating them using the most direct route in order to improve tumor killing effects while minimizing toxic side effects caused by drug activity in non-targeted regions. This new field of research is known as medical nanorobotics. The talk will provide a short introduction to medical nanorobotics with its potential impact on cancer treatments.
Institute of Medical Robotics