Scientists make 'sonic screwdriver'
Thursday 19 April 2012
A team of scientists has taken inspiration from Doctor Who and
created their own "sonic screwdriver" that could be used in complex
Physicists at the University of Dundee used equipment designed for MRI-guided ultrasound surgery and created a tool that can lift and spin a 10cm rubber disk with an ultrasound beam.
The team said the beam carries momentum that can push an object in its path and can cause the object to rotate when shaped like a helix or vortex.
Mike MacDonald, of the university's Institute for Medical Science and Technology, said: "This experiment not only confirms a fundamental physics theory but also demonstrates a new level of control over ultrasound beams which can also be applied to non-invasive ultrasound surgery, targeted drug delivery and ultrasonic manipulation of cells.
"The 'sonic screwdriver' device is also part of the EU-funded Nanoporation project where we are already starting to push the boundaries of what ultrasound can do in terms of targeted drug delivery and targeted cellular surgery.
"It is an area that has great potential for developing new surgical techniques, among other applications, something which Dundee is very much at the forefront of."
Doctor Who uses his screwdriver to open locks and doors and control other devices, but the Dundee team believes its study could help make surgery using ultrasound techniques more precise and effective by giving doctors the ability to steer ultrasound waves to the precise spot where they are needed.
Ultrasound waves allow surgeons to treat a range of conditions without having to cut a patient open.
Dr MacDonald added: "Like Doctor Who's own device, our sonic screwdriver is capable of much more than just spinning things around."
The results of the research are published in the American Physical Society's journal Physical Review Letters.
Last year, scientists in Bristol began working on their own "sonic screwdriver" to be used in DIY.
The team experimented with rotating ultrasonic force fields which acted like the head of a screwdriver.
- 1 Woman 'suffocates newborn baby in plastic bag and puts it in her desk minutes after giving birth'
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 Chinese student carries disabled friend to school every day for three years
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...