Worming a way into “pleasurable” endoscopy

Scientists from the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa (Italy), found the ragworm, which lives in seashores, could inspire a model for a more comfortable endoscopy.


The Bioloch imitates the undulating motion of the ragworm, also known as the paddleworm, to “pull” itself along, rather than having to be forced into the body.

The worm moves in wet environments containing large amounts of solid and semi-solid material – similar to that often found inside the body.

The prototype consists of a worm with a flexible central spine and paddles sticking out along the worm’s body.

The team are now working on an improved version of the device in which both the paddles themselves and the central spine can move. Eventually, the device will be motorised.

“Ultimately our idea is to turn the current ordeal of the colonic endoscopy procedure into something akin to a pleasurable experience!”, said Julian Vincent , Professor of the University of Bath, who also worked on the research.

Oh! my God video.

Via BBC News and IST results

Related: robotic telesurgery. Other Italian creepy robots to navigate our bodies: Many-legged capsule to crawl through intestines, Picture of the (huge) micro robot supposed to crawl through our intestines.