In the successful British television series ‘Doctor Who’, a fictitious device named a Sonic Screwdriver was given a lot of popularity due to ‘the Doctor’. This device was used to open a gate in the television series that was bolted shut with a hardened steel padlock. This fictional tool is a sophisticated wand that not only has vast applications ranging from scanning to hacking, but it can also electrify the nervous system of a potential bad-guy.
Even though this device is a part of the realms of a sci-fi universe, an application has been acquired from the pixels of the big screen which is the capability to vibrate objects.
‘GauntLev’ is a real life sonic device which can lift small objects such as polystyrene spheres by means of sound waves. The object is encapsulated in a corral of high-frequency sound waves by acoustic levitation, whereby imposing a force on the object in all directions. Therefore, the object seems to levitate in a fixed position. Check out this sonic ‘levitation’ in the video below:
The sonic screwdriver has the ability to focus its sound waves to agitate objects, almost similar to the scaled down version of the gravity defying tractor beam.
A similar method was employed in 2014 to treat patients with malignant brain tumors. The blood-brain barrier was opened using the non-invasive technique by creating micro-bubbles which caused the barrier to contract and expand at a rate of 200,000 times per second, thereby forming gaps that allowed the chemotherapy drug to pass through and reach the tumors. Now, this delivery procedure can be used by the doctors to administer drugs to previously inaccessible parts of the brain.